Top 7 tips for working in Africa – Part 2/2
Anna Pishchal – Branch Manager, Africa & EME
Following our previous article on recruitment advice for candidates planning to work in Africa, this post is now addressed to recruiters and hiring managers to ensure you find and retain a quality workforce.
Part 2 – Recommendations for Employers:
1. Believe in the potential candidates without African experience. Remember that all your best employees once did this step for the first time because someone believed in them. The new Expatriate, if selected properly considering both professional and personal attributes, will adjust to the African environment in a relatively short time.
2. Trust a younger workforce. For example, a lot of big mining houses arrange management trainee programs for high potential graduates that allow them to take managerial role not after 10-15 years of experience, but much earlier. Also, even without participating in such a program the potential employee might be young but talented and good at his job. Be careful not to judge solely by years of experience but by experience itself.
3. Be conscious about your employer brand. The industry in Africa and worldwide is becoming increasingly competitive, a job posting alone won’t generate an abundance of good & qualified candidates standing in line for the opportunity. The best talent should not only be identified and headhunted, but also need to feel attracted to the company. To enhance your brand:
- Communicate with candidates accordingly, provide them with feedback no matter the outcome either directly or through the recruitment agency. Candidates appreciate feedback and the effort won’t go unnoticed. The market is highly competitive and good employer brand will keep the candidate motivated to join you later, even years later. Conversely, a poor candidate experience may lead to the point when not only this candidate wouldn’t like to deal with your company, but also may tell his or her “sad story” to other peers and friends that could affect their decision joining you too.
- Treat your employees well. Past and present employees communicate with the outside world and it is beneficial that positive sentiment is spread through their network. Examine yourself as an employer and identify areas where you could be better to make your employees happier.
4. Make offers to the candidates based on the market level and not on your internal assumptions, particularly for key roles. It will prevent lost time during the hiring process, saving time by avoiding offer rejections by good qualified people and restarting searches also attracting the right candidates in the first instance. Globe 24-7 conducts an annual African Expatriates remuneration benchmark study with insights into the working conditions and remuneration across countries and mine sites in Africa. For more information, please contact us.
5. Describe the project and its challenges realistically. The job and working conditions should match the candidate’s expectations as much as possible. This way he/she won’t be disappointed upon arrival and reduce the risk of losing an incumbent during the probation period and losing the time by looking for a replacement.
6. Identify and pursue your essential criteria in the candidate selection process, and not just stick to a “nice to have” wish list. For example, imagine you need someone who need to train local employees to use planning and pit optimization software within a year. In this case it is ok to hire experienced candidate who has possibly already retired but interested in the challenge rather lose the time hunting young guys, because the whole team is young and it should be fun to work together. Before starting any recruitment ask yourself not “whom” you need for the role, but “why” you need someone, and the target profile will be clear.
7. Properly prepare and conduct interviews to discover as much as possible. Of course, it relates not only to African recruitment, but to an adequate hiring process everywhere. In our experience, neglected recruitment fundamentals such as poor interview preparation and evaluation are what leads to recruitment mistakes that can become very costly when hiring Expatriates in Africa.
We hope that these simple tips will help you to reach your goals no matter to which side you belong and know that Globe24-7 is always ready to support you to achieve them.