A Message from the Group MD

Bradley Barr

Group Managing Director

Why CA Global methodology was setup to focus on Africa?

Back in 1999 and leading up to 2006, while recruiting and working in Europe, I noticed how organisations were focusing their investments into Asia, particularly the Chinese markets and that this was becoming a notable trend. At the same time, China was racing for commodities and starting to focus intensely on African countries that needed a tradeoff of infrastructure for commodities.

Due to colonialism, dictatorships, civil wars, exploitation, poverty and the financial collapse in 2009, Europe, Asia and the USA looked to diversify their investments across Africa, resulting in a vast increase in the recruitment. This was particularly the case in the recruitment of the unemployed youth and graduates who are instrumental in continuing the recruitment life cycle.

With increasing company start-up and investment and the increasing demand for skills, the demand of services for Headhunting and recruiting in Africa has also risen. The real difficulty is tapping into those graduate markets.

So what does this mean for companies starting up and operating in Africa who require a large team of expatriates?

Higher investments are needed (especially with comparison to European markets), and when higher investments are needed, consequently, the investment risk becomes higher too. The higher cost is mainly due to business requiring a higher percentage of expatriates to train and mentor locals over a 2 to 5 year period.

If an effective recruitment and training plan is implemented correctly from the start, whereby the expat team is tasked with training local citizens, there will be long term benefits. The other side of this is that, at times, companies have tended to shortcut the plan and find themselves sitting with major problems 5 years down the line with no local skills to takeover because they did not allow for the successful transfer of skills. Depending on seniority, training a new employee can take up to 5 years and elements such as age, cultural background, education and language preferences are just some of the crucial elements to be considered.

Because of the booming industries across Africa, the demand for skills means that companies are always running the high risk of losing new talent to competitors, and therefore long-term development programs