In 2022, the global layoff wave which caused job cuts for over 70,000 individuals also affected African employees, as various African startups reportedly laid off thousands of workers as well.  In recent times, African tech companies have had to lay off top talents due to economic uncertainties and financial constraints. 

Complementing this trend is the wave of mass emigration of Africans to other parts of the world in search of better opportunities and a better quality of life. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicted in a 2016 report that “migrants [from sub-Saharan Africa] could increase from about 7 million in 2013 to about 34 million by 2050”, adding that “the migration of young and educated workers takes a large toll on a region whose human capital is already scarce”.

These trends have posed the need for companies to rethink the hiring and retention of top talents. Hiring top talents is crucial for organisations as these employees bring with them a wealth of experience, skills, and knowledge that can help drive the business forward. According to a study by Deloitte, organisations that excel at recruiting top talents are 3.5 times more likely to outperform their competitors. Additionally, the study found that top talents can generate up to eight times the productivity of an average employee.

Retaining top talents is equally important as losing them can have severe consequences for organisations. The cost of losing top talent can range from 90% to 200% of their annual salary, according to a study by the Centre for American Progress. Moreover, losing top talents can lead to a loss of organisational knowledge, decreased productivity, and a negative impact on team morale. 

“When it comes to hiring top talents, the first question to ask is, what do top talents want? If you can give them what they want, you’re definitely going to attract them,” said Diseye Ami Naasin, happiness engineering lead at Eden Life, during an edition of TechCabal Live on Friday, March 31, 2023. She further explained that offering competitive compensation and benefits packages are one of the sure ways to attract top talents: A study by Glassdoor found that 67% of job seekers consider salary and compensation packages the most critical factor when considering a job offer. This is because top talents want the quality of their lives to be significantly improved by virtue of where they work, and this can be achieved through the provision of various benefits that help to better their individual lives.

Another way to retain talent is through flexibility and various paid-time-off (PTO) offerings. Top talents want work arrangements that allow room for flexibility. Also, PTO offerings should not be limited to the typical leave structure set by the law. Employers should be able to provide different paid-time-off offerings that cater to different circumstances in an employee’s life, apart from maternity, marriage, etc. Companies should trust that top talents will always be at the peak of their productivity and they take as much time as they need to rest and everybody wins.

Creating a culture of employee engagement and satisfaction can be ensured by paying attention to the different needs of employees. Yewande Jinadu, head, people and culture, Traction Apps mentioned that “What the Baby Boomers want is different from what the Gen Zs want, and what the Millennials want. You just can’t assume for people. Be intentional about providing the benefits that are tailored to the different needs of people.”

Furthermore, providing opportunities for growth and development helps to create clarity in terms of career progression for employees. Top talents are often ambitious and seek opportunities for growth and development. African companies can retain top talents by providing them with opportunities for training, career development, and mentorship.

Finally, fostering a positive work culture that embraces diversity and inclusion is essential for attracting and retaining top talents. Companies must create a work environment that promotes teamwork, open communication, and employee engagement. A study by McKinsey found that companies with diverse workforces are 33% more likely to outperform their competitors. 

In conclusion, the importance of hiring and retaining top talent in the face of Africa’s talent migration and layoff trends cannot be overstated. By creating an environment that fosters growth, development, and employee engagement, organizations can retain their top performers and compete at a global level. 

Editorial TechCabal Editorial Team

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