The Challenges of Hiring Quality Tech Talents in Africa

Photo by Eric Prouzet on Unsplash

In an Indeed survey, 86% of tech hiring managers said it was difficult to find and hire technical talent. Hiring quality tech talents has become a major challenge for many tech companies in Africa and across the world. From early-stage startups to tech giants, the struggle to acquire the best talents is now critical.

It is often said that employees make the company, and the quality of employees you hire, particularly for early-stage startups, goes a long way in determining its success. At 13.2%, considerable research has shown that the tech industry has the highest attrition rate of any industry.

Thus, it is no surprise to see employers constantly looking for ways not just to employ the best talents but also to retain them.

Why is Hiring Tech Talents so Difficult?

As any successful recruiter knows, the hiring process is long and tedious. While this may be alright for other industries, the same cannot be said for fast-paced industries like IT. The industry is constantly evolving, leaving companies that cannot keep up with it behind.

Adding to the brutal pace of the industry, the talent pool is limited. There are more jobs than developers, engineers, designers, and product managers. While tertiary institutions are expanding their curriculum to cater to these jobs and tech fellowships are on the rise, supply is yet to meet demand. Nevertheless, recruiters are still expected to hire talents within a tight time frame before they are snatched up by competitors.

In Africa, the case is more critical. According to a 2021 study by Google and Accenture, there are only about 700,000 professional developers in Africa. Compared to over 5.5 million in Europe, the talent shortage is glaring. Coupled with the small pool of talents, many African developers choose to work with foreigners, leaving a shrunk pool of tech experts for recruiters to work with.

As expected, this has had devastating effects. In a survey by We Forum, it was revealed that roughly 65% of African CEOs said the talent shortage was preventing them from innovating effectively, while about 54% said it was causing them to miss their growth targets. A similar report is seen in Indeed’s survey, where 83% of companies said the tech talent shortage had affected their business through loss of revenue, slower product development, market expansion, or increased employee tension and burnout.

Hence, to compete and stay afloat, companies are spending more time, effort, and money trying to attract, poach and retain quality tech talents.

Tips to Overcome Hiring Challenges

· Outsourcing

Because the struggle for the right talent is critical, it is easy for businesses to suffer as they try to balance building a team and growing the company ─ this is where outsourcing can help. Outsourcing to an RPO (Recruitment Process Outsourcing) provider like The Bulb Africa gives companies access to recruitment expertise and knowledge.

It is a fantastic solution for startups with no solid recruitment experience and are confused about building the right team and for bigger companies struggling to attract and retain talents. In fact, a Deloitte survey showed that 59% of businesses use outsourcing to reduce expenses.

Outsourcing aids companies focus on other parts of the business, helping them compete better while a third party handles the task of sourcing and hiring talents.

· Remote Work

According to a Talent Tech Outlook 2022 study, about 82% of employees would rather work from home than from the office. The same study showed that 64% say they are more productive and feel less stressed.

While remote work became more prevalent as it became a means to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, it is gradually becoming a norm. Multiple studies produce the same results — employees prefer to work in their space and would ideally go after jobs that give them that opportunity.

Thus, hiring managers must rethink their strategies and adopt a more flexible work model if they expect to attract and retain talents.

· Positive Candidate Experience

As every great hiring manager knows, it is one thing to get people to apply for a job, and it is another to ensure that the candidate has a sound experience throughout the hiring process.

Photo by LinkedIn Sales Solutions on Unsplash

Remember, there are more companies than there are talents. A poor candidate experience may cause the candidate to quit the interview process or decline the job offer if you send them.

Quality tech talents have options while companies are struggling. This is even more challenging as most job interviews today are virtual. To ensure a positive experience, be accurate and prompt during your outreach, provide clarity and every info needed for interviews and assessments, and be empathetic where necessary.

· Branding & Visibility

The importance of branding & visibility in the hiring process can not be overemphasized. There are indeed limited talents, however, these talents are more inclined to apply or respond to poaching when your organization is known.

Hence, branding and visibility are particularly important for early-stage startups trying to build a solid team. Tech giants like Microsoft or Google will not face the same form of hiring challenges as a relatively unknown company will. Invest and boost your marketing efforts, and talents will find you.

· Pursue Passive Candidates

As reported by LinkedIn, 70% of the world’s workforce constitutes passive talent who aren’t actively job searching. This means it is not enough to post openings on social media or job sites; recruiters must source quality talents and convince them to join their team.

While this may seem difficult for smaller companies, particularly startups, as they may not have the money to convince a candidate, today’s tech talent can be persuaded without a massive salary boost. Perks like remote work, fantastic work culture, or the opportunity to work on an exciting project can convince them to leave their current company for yours.

Hiring the Best Talent

Recruiting is a challenging task, even more, challenging in the tech industry. While the tech giants have a solid strategy for attracting talents, it can become overwhelming for others. Tech talents are scarce, even more on a senior level, and the competition for available talents is stiff.

Of all our tips, we particularly recommend outsourcing. Outsourcing to an experienced organization like The Bulb Africa, which has a wide reach of tech talents in Africa and beyond, provides your organization with a more efficient hiring process and years of expertise, saving you cost and time while reducing turnover rates.



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