Trends and developments in the HR function in Africa

Studies are regularly conducted to identify trends and developments in human resources management practices and thus better understand the impacts on the lives of companies and their employees. These trends can be broken down at local, national and regional level and validated by the observation of companies and public structures on the ground.

This article presents the main perspectives of evolution of the human resources function in Africa, within private companies but also in the public domain, around the notion of skills management.

Skills management – A decisive issue for companies and organizations in Africa

Both businesses and public service realized that they needed to significantly change their recruitment criteria and not only reduce the reference aspects to technical mastery or possession of a diploma.

Today, it is recognized that behavioral skills are essential in the suitability for a position, and not just for management or coaching.

Organizations must seek to improve matching of people to their work positions at all levels, and for each level. Professions and careers are constantly evolving and will be substantially modified in the future (except perhaps for some crafts professions): development of the use of technologies, modification of the relationship with working time (make more in the shortest possible time to promote productivity, profitability, efficiency, self-control more and more necessary), disappearance of functions that are no longer useful or competitive … The notion of competence has become a major issue for companies.

Competence is what makes the personality of the collaborator: his abilities to manage, to communicate, to decide, to cooperate.

It is about how to assess the match between the candidate and the position in question:

  • Using for example a reference system, define the nature of the skills that are absolutely essential to the fulfillment of the position. Be careful not to overstate the requirements or to underestimate them.
  • Have the candidate or collaborator carry out a self-assessment on the same reference system, explaining or illustrating each competency. It may be useful in this self-assessment to present a broader standard than just the skills required.
  • Develop an assessment-type device in which the candidate or collaborator will “dive”, requiring him to provide proof of his managerial, organizational, commercial, economic or legacy skills …

Field of application

This skills assessment approach can be part of situations of organizational changes and therefore of job requirements, in the case of mergers or divisions. In the latter case, it is more of an application to employees in place that should be positioned, accompany or out.

This approach can also support business creation, especially when the investor is not used to intervening in a given country, or in a particular social or regulatory regime. Employees at all levels are involved, from the smallest job to the most specific management or general management positions.