7 Ways Companies in Africa can Attract Diaspora Talent Back

March 9, 2023 / BY / IN Uncategorized

In recent years, there has been a trend of companies and governments making efforts to attract talent back to their native countries. According to the Journal of African Business, this phenomenon is often referred to as “brain circulation” or “reverse brain drain,” as it involves skilled professionals returning to their home countries after living and working abroad. One reason for this trend is the recognition that talented individuals who have left their home countries can contribute significantly to the development of their home countries’ economies and societies. Many countries have experienced a “brain drain” as their most talented citizens have sought better opportunities abroad, and now seek to reverse this trend.

As Africa continues to grow, the continent has seen different organisations setting up to be able to give their services to different types of businesses. In the past, Africa has seen a good number of its talented workforce moving abroad to work, live and find better opportunities due to the attractive contracts and benefits. However, companies that are coming to Africa looking to tap into the different sectors are aware that they need relatability and people who know the market in regard to different aspects of their offering such as preferences, tastes and behaviours of the consumers. Some organisations for instance the ‘Big Four’ (Price Waterhouse Coopers, Deloitte, KPMG and Ernest & Young) need to stay ahead as leaders in their respective sectors. In order to stay ahead of their competition they are ensuring that they can get the best talent from their companies to come back to their native countries.

More often than not this is a tough ask as most of these people have already settled down in the country they moved to work. Additionally, family matters make it even more challenging to move back home. Generally, attracting diaspora talent back to Africa can be a challenge, but there are several strategies that companies in Africa can use to increase their chances of success:

  1. Build Strong Networks
    Companies in Africa and those looking to explore the African market can build strong networks with diaspora communities and engage them in conversations about the opportunities available in Africa. These networks can also help companies understand the needs and expectations of diaspora talent.
  2. Offer Competitive Compensation
    It is unlikely that companies in Africa can match the same level of compensation as foreign companies in developed countries. However, Companies in Africa can offer competitive compensation packages that are on par with what diaspora talent is earning in other or some parts of the world. This can include salary, benefits, and other perks that make working in Africa more attractive.
  3. Create a Strong Company Culture
    Companies in Africa can create a strong company culture that values diversity, inclusivity, and the contributions of diaspora talent. This can help diaspora talent feel more connected to the company and motivated to contribute. Therefore, it is vital for companies to create lasting company culture that also makes it attractive for diaspora to come back and work in these companies.
  4. Provide Opportunities for Professional Development
    By providing the right and equal opportunities for professional development, including training and mentorship programs, it helps diaspora talent grow their skills and advance their careers. This can also include partnering with other multinationals to create a global mobility program that will enhance the skills of its workforce.
  5. Offer Relocation Assistance
    Companies in Africa can offer relocation assistance to help diaspora talent move back to Africa. This can include assistance with visas, housing, and other logistical challenges. This is a challenge that needs to be overcome as many companies do not offer this type of assistance and it discourages most people from taking the leap.
  6. Showcase the Impact of their Work
    Companies in Africa can showcase the impact of their work and the contributions of their employees in the local community. This can help diaspora talent feel like they are making a difference and contributing to positive change in Africa. Most people like to see the human side of their companies, this makes the company more relatable and people are able to see that they are aware of the challenges in society be it tackling environmental, social and governance issues.
  7. Partner with Diaspora Organisations
    Companies in Africa can partner with diaspora organisations and associations to identify and engage with diaspora talent. These organisations can also provide valuable insights into the needs and expectations of diaspora talent. The fact that many of these organisations such as Google, Meta, Microsoft, KPMG, PwC, Deloitte among others are willing to invest and set up in Africa is another added advantage to bring back talent and even prevent talent from leaving.

Countries and Companies that have taken Steps to Attract Diaspora Talent Back
Companies and even countries are moving to create initiatives that will help them to attract talent back and to a large extent retain the upcoming talent being produced. For example a number of countries and companies that have implemented different initiatives depending on what they can offer and they include: the Chinese government has implemented policies to attract talent back to the country, including tax incentives and funding for entrepreneurship. Some Chinese companies have also established programs to recruit and retain overseas talent. The Indian government has launched a program called “Make in India” to attract talented individuals back to the country, with a focus on developing key industries such as manufacturing and technology. Ireland has launched initiatives to attract Irish expatriates back to the country, including tax incentives and job placement assistance. For companies, Google has established programs to attract talent back to its home base in Silicon Valley, including offering employees the opportunity to work on projects in their home countries.

To attract talent back, some countries have implemented policies and initiatives such as tax incentives, job placement assistance, and funding for entrepreneurship. Some companies have also established programs to recruit and retain talented individuals from their home countries, offering competitive salaries and benefits, as well as opportunities for professional growth.

Overall, the trend of attracting talent back to native countries reflects a growing recognition of the value of skilled professionals to the development of economies and societies, and the importance of creating environments that encourage their return. Bringing back talent is often fueled by a number of factors, including improved economic and political conditions in the home country, the desire to be closer to family and friends, or the desire to contribute to the development of their home country. It can also be encouraged by government policies and initiatives that seek to attract highly skilled individuals back to the country. These initiatives can bring significant benefits to the home country, including the transfer of knowledge and skills acquired abroad, increased innovation and entrepreneurship, and the potential for economic growth and development. It can also help to alleviate the brain drain problem by bringing highly skilled individuals back to the country, which can in turn encourage others to stay or return.

Should you have any inquiries about the contents of this article, do not hesitate to contact Managing Director Susan Kamenwa

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