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A Message from the Group MD

Message Group Managing MD

Bradley Barr

Group Managing Director

Why was CA Global methodology set up 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 of African nationals and diaspora. This was particularly the case in the recruitment of the unemployed youth and graduates, who are instrumental in continuing the recruitment lifecycle.

With increasing company start-ups and investment as well as a growing demand for skills, the need for headhunting and recruiting services in Africa has also risen. This is particularly true for companies looking to tap 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 this is the case, the risk of investment becomes higher too. The higher cost is mainly due to business requiring a higher percentage of expatriates to train and mentor locals over a two- to five-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 companies try to take shortcuts and find themselves sitting with major problems five years down the line with no local personnel to take the reins all because they did not allow for the successful transfer of skills. Depending on seniority, training a new employee can take up to five years, and 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 programmes.

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