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African companies increasingly favour careers events for finding African talent in the Diaspora

The rising cost of expatriate labour in conjunction with the exodus of professional skills from Africa in recent decades has increased the focus of African and multinational corporations on African talent outside the continent.  Attracting Africans in the Diaspora back into Africa, once a hard sell, is fast becoming the strategy of choice for some of Africa’s top companies.

An increasingly successful approach to talent spotting, the professional careers recruitment event has become a popular route for companies looking for ways to enhance their competitive advantage by recruiting from the Diaspora.

Global Career Company

Global Career Company, a British company set up in 2002 by Rupert Adcock, has helped some of Africa’s leading companies recruit over 2,000 professionals across Africa.

“Careers in Africa has not only grown as a recruitment event but also as a brand.”

Commenting on the success of his annual Careers in Africa recruitment summits, Adcock says, “Careers in Africa has not only grown as a recruitment event but also as a brand to become the world’s leading recruitment initiative for African professionals abroad.”

The two day event held by Global Career Company in London in April 2006 attracted 40 African companies.  Applicants submit their CV to the recruiters who, along with the hiring companies, pre-select a shortlist for interview. The London event involved 700 pre-selected candidates and over 2,500 interviews took place over the course of the two-day summit.   With companies such as Coca-Cola Africa, BAT, Ernst & Young, KPMG, Nokia, Microsoft, SAB Miller and Vodacom participating, the Careers in Africa event also offered candidates an opportunity to network with recruiting executives at a cocktail event held ahead of the interviews.

By bringing together a diverse range of Africans, careers events also offer companies an opportunity to interact with those who have gained experience of working in the West and who are keen to take up management opportunities opened up by both the traditional extractive industries and the fast developing telecommunication and communication sectors in Africa. 

Cisco Systems, a new participant at Careers in Africa, summed up their experience as “an excellent channel to maximise corporate branding regionally while identifying top talent”.  For many companies, this type of event provides an excellent return on investment.  Almost 90% of the participating companies selected candidates for final round interviews after the pre-scheduled interviews. South African sponsor Eskom made 33 offers, 16 of which were accepted by the candidates, while a third of the candidates offered jobs by construction giant Group Five will be joining the company by August.

Africa is “Open for Business”

The success of Careers in Africa is testament to the fact that Africa is increasingly perceived by its Diaspora as offering a new world of opportunities for internationally trained professionals; from Engineering to Finance, Human Resources to ICT, Sales, Marketing and Professional Services.
The success of the predominantly Anglophone African recruitment event has led to the company branching out into recruitment for Francophone countries. 

Following on from the London event, the Careers in Africa Brussels Summit was held for the second consecutive year and saw a doubling in its numbers from the 2005 Summit. 

Adcock is now looking across the Atlantic for his company’s next move.  “Due to the demand for our services, Global Career Company will be launching the Careers in Africa US Summit later this year,” he says. “Our events prove that Africa is open for business.”

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