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What African start-ups need to do to hire and keep great talent

Published on April 14, 2015

In Africa’s technology start-up scene, one of the most difficult challenges is attracting and retaining talent. The tools used by Silicon Valley, London, and Paris to hire top talent — namely stock options — seldom work in Africa. With limited exit opportunities via initial public offers (IPOs) and acquisitions, smart young people understand that stock options rarely bring a big payday. Thus begins a cycle of frustration in Africa’s tech sector around the ability to hire and retain the right team.

Africa has a limited talent pool, particularly in technology fields. In some parts of the continent, universities struggle to stay open due to incessant strikes and riots. And the same infrastructure challenges derailing some countries’ economies are also evident in the schools, which are often burdened with poor learning facilities or nonfunctioning utilities like electricity and water. While graduate unemployment is very high, companies struggle to find new hires with the right skills. Across the continent, there are complaints that African graduates are poorly prepared for the workplace. Unlike multinational companies in other parts of the world, the option of importing foreign talent or African diaspora is not always feasible. Read more. Source | Harvard Business Review