Recruitement – The offshoring phenomenon, marked by the continuous rush of large multinationals into the Third World, has revitalized the economies of those countries, leading to a turnaround in the employment sector, especially in Africa.

This relocation of companies also has its realities. It must imperatively be accompanied by a transfer of technical and functional skills specific to the standards and the vision of these major brands, mostly European or American.

Once implemented, the problem of socio-cultural realities arises. There is a huge requirement for the contribution of qualified managers, able to operate the transition of the company and making it functional in its new environment.

The recruiters of these large companies have two choices: calling on local expertise or foreign expertise, especially the professionals from the Diaspora.

However, who has the upper hand? Who offers more benefits? What are their strengths and weaknesses?

In a document published in 2015, JeuneAfrique magazine raised the “war for talent” issue, which is “predominant at the mid, and particularly at the top management levels”, as local professionals age and the “brain drain” reality persists.

The training offer in some parts of the continent is important but not sufficient overall. Many large companies are still struggling to find qualified people, locally.

However, the choice is quickly focused on the expertise of local executives for junior positions. In sectors such as banks, mining, mass distribution, construction, etc., “multinationals battle in order to recruit African managers. A boon, for them, as the job offers and salaries increase”, the magazine points out.

In other areas, it becomes a stressful exercise for recruiters to “catch the fish”.

These include infrastructure (roads, energy, etc.), construction or mining, where it’s harder to find their local engineers and project managers. Despite this, some employers still call on local managers, with an additional training as a pre-condition.

The main advantage offered by the local expertise, according to the document, is their ability to reduce their costs (housing, vehicle, security premiums), their cultural proximity and to avoid paper burden in hiring expatriates.

But in fact, the expertise and experience of the managers of the Diaspora is the grail that the multinationals want to get. And to make a difference, the African expatriates quickly changed their perception of the recruitment market.

Nowadays, many of them accept proposals for key positions in multinational companies, under more flexible conditions, or even very close to those of the local executives.

More and more qualified and expatriate African managers are recruited from Europe or the United States and agree to line up their salary expectations according to Western standards (between 2.5 and 4 million F CFA francs per month), but with fewer additional benefits:  that is the sacrifice to start the ideal “homecoming” and a new promising career.

In short, it is not a tussle local expertise / Diaspora expertise that is currently happening in the recruitment market in Africa. Each of them offers great advantages and is a powerful resource for their individual development, and that of the continent.