Succession Planning: African Diaspora Talent Acquisition

Through our experience, we have identified some of the key challenges related to attracting candidates in the diaspora. The article below provides more insight to corporates seeking to identify and attract candidates globally.

With the increasing regulations surrounding talent acquisition in different African countries, the need to appoint local, seasoned talent is becoming more critical for most multinationals. The days of having expatriates in senior and executive roles is coming to an end.

As an executive search consultant having worked with telecommunications and financial services industries across Africa, I often have clients approach me with an ideal brief (usually after exhausting their own internal efforts) in search of an ideal candidate that they believe has left the country in search of greener pastors elsewhere.

While there may be many African citizens from various countries scattered around the world, very few of them, if any, have the required experience often sought, at the level it is sought, and at the time it is sought.

This suggests that perhaps businesses should guard against using diaspora mapping as a reactionary method of sourcing talent to fill a current role, but rather as a roadmap to understand the design and shape of the landscape for particular skills in order to plan for the future before those skills are required.

Partnership with Talent Acquisition

This speaks to the partnership of talent acquisition with the strategic growth plan for the business which in turn is tied to the broader HR strategy. Talent mapping should be an integrated succession planning sourcing tool and networking tool to ensure that candidates are brought back post international exposure at varying levels and then grown and developed throughout that business to mitigate the risk of reactionary hiring which often results in disappointment to clients’ due to unrealistic expectations.

Another point to consider when hiring at executive level are the expatriate packages and whether your business can afford to absorb the costs of hiring these skills at a premium.

Finally, a diaspora search is a community effort of nurtured relationships over time and organisations should be made aware of this. As a result, the best way to ensure its effectiveness as a sourcing strategy is to invest in it proactively. And on a continuous basis.