Hiring expectations across Africa for 2017
The skills shortages faced in 2016 may be slightly alleviated in 2017 as expatriates, who have been transferring skills to locals over the past few years, begin to hand over to their local successors. The focus on hiring skilled local professionals in 2016 will continue in 2017 across all four regions.
Western-educated nationals with international experience will be highly sought after in 2017 as organisations work towards stabilising and strengthening their core business functions. We anticipate increased demand for senior management level professionals as companies grow their finance functions to attract investors amid low foreign currency flow.
When recruiting local senior professionals, we advise hiring managers to be flexible and to consider hiring less experienced but high potential individuals whose skills can be developed ‘on the job’.
The number of skilled nationals who have moved abroad over the last few years has alarmed some governments and they are deploying strategies to attract them back. These are proving effective in countries such as Mauritius, where the government is using tax cuts to attract jobseekers.
We believe the challenge of finding suitable local candidates will ease in years to come as more African professionals gain the experience that employers are looking for. In the meantime, hiring managers should emphasise the appeal of working and living in their respective African regions – where it’s still feasible to recruit expatriates.
In 2017, we expect the economic challenges affecting many countries in Africa to continue while commodity prices remain low. However, we are confident that suitably qualified and experienced local professionals will be in high demand across all sectors and in a strong position to negotiate significantly higher salaries.
Additionally, over the short to medium term, we expect that hiring managers will continue to recruit expatriates who are keen to share their experience and expertise with local professionals. Employers recognise that they need to focus on succession planning for African talent, and knowledge sharing from expatriates will be part of this strategy.