5 Success factors to hire Talents in the chaos of African job market

EDACY Team Blog — weekly stories from the EDACY team that we would like to share with you, to help you understand our values better and to meet those behind the scenes that make EDACY possible.
This week:
Carine Vavasseur, Growth/Customer Success Manager at EDACY.

If you’ve worked once for a company or owned a business, you probably know and faced a long list of issues when it comes to managing and growing the business. It mainly takes great people to generate and execute efficient strategies and ideas. The fact is that a company’s growth is strongly supported by its human resources.

I’m not teaching you anything by pointing out that hiring inadequate people is never good for the business. What’s interesting, from the African context and perspective, is how finding the right match can become a deep, costly and time consuming struggle in the chaos of Africa’s job market.

What can make you hire the right person at the right position by going beyond the impersonal common path of asking the set of random interview questions found on Google? Honestly, are these questions not too easy to answer after some preparation and rehearsal… The question is then: are you looking for actors or rare gems?

If you aim at hiring high calibers, this article is for you and these 5 key success factors may ease your journey when searching for your next collaborators.

1 / Prepare and customise your recruitment process

A valuable recruitment begins with a good preparation. It all starts with you and there are many aspects of your hiring process that will determine the type of profiles you will attract. What could help you get the right persons to the interviews phase? Each step of your process will send a message to your applicants and communicates on your company’s organization, values and style of work. Before even writing your job proposal, brainstorm on the type of person your company needs, to fill in the position. Using a persona, which is a fictive profile usually done by companies to better understand their users, can be a way for you to shape the ideal candidate for the position and how to reach him/her (keeping some flexibility on what is not mandatory or could be taught).

Your job offer is also key, each word and sentence counts and will definitely define who you will attract, try to be as clear as possible. Make it the reflection of your company’s spirit and values before publishing it on communication channels that can potentially reach your designed persona for the position. Choosing the place and setting up the mood for the interview is also important depending on the type of position and the skills you need to observe (indoor/outdoor interview, formal/informal, one on one/roundtable with other team members, office hours/afterwork…). It’s a relationship you are willing to build so as for a date you need to think of who you want to build it with and how the first date can send the right signal and help you get valuable insights to find the best match.

2 / Involve your team in the selection

You may be the main person in charge of recruiting but it’s your whole working environment that could be positively or negatively affected by this new hire. When you get someone on board you impact the way some of your collaborators will work. Identify the people who will closely work with the new hire and try to understand the resulting synergy. By involving them upfront in the recruitment process, you can minimise the risk of a bad match. Some of the ways to involve your colleagues in the hiring process include brainstorming for the persona you are looking for, reviewing candidates CV or inviting them to join the interview process.

3 / Get to understand deep aspirations and career goals

What really drives someone and he/she is passionate about is what will define how the collaboration will benefit to one another and will be able to last in time. This is particularly true with millennials who are more focused on achieving their dreams and growing their well-being than in being faithful to an enterprise with a guarantee to keep their position until retirement comes. What about someone who has no perspective, no idea of what drives him/her and what he/she wants to achieve from a professional perspective? That should be a red flag for you. It can take time to know exactly what one career plan is, but it should at least be obvious which paths one is interested in and how your job position is in line with this. The risk when hiring people who have no idea of what motivates them apart from money is that the retention and growth of such resources can become really uncertain and uneasy to handle.

4 / Test on the ability to get things done

At the end of the day all recruitments aim at one final objective: getting things done. One of your main focuses should be to determine which of the candidates have what it takes to make it happen. It can be done with some tests, a quick challenge, going deep into details regarding previous professional achievements and checking referrals. But also by observing the ability of your candidates to do what you expect from them at each phase of your selection process. You can find classical or more unexpected ways of measuring ability to get things done, what’s important is that you set up a way to evaluate this key success factor in your recruitment.

5 / Dare taking risk, be agile

Hiring is a measured risk, a wise bet on someone’s ability to participate in your company’s growth. It includes a sum of unknown parameters and some uncertainties. Because you will never be 100% sure to have the ideal match, keep some flexibility in your criteria when needed and be able to detect the potential someone has to grow skills fast in some areas you have defined as key but not essential at the very beginning. Ability to learn fast or take leadership can be, among other qualities, some of the traits you will be looking for sometimes, instead of “5 years experience in X area”. And if at the end of the interview you still have doubts, why keeping them for you? The interview is the perfect moment to go deep into understanding who the applicant is. If some important questions remain unanswered or doubts are crossing your mind, clarify them transparently in order to give him/her a chance to provide answers instead of opting for assumptions.

Hiring Talents requires a bit of strategy as you can notice, keeping them is another challenge you’d better get prepared for from the moment you decide to get a rare gem on board. You may have been among the first to discover this resource but at some point other headhunters will be interested in having it into their company. Keep it in mind and make sure to set up the path for your Talents to be smoothly integrated within the team, get to understand and fit with your enterprise’s values. Never forget to listen to them and their aspirations to ensure their growth and fulfilment by your side.

At EDACY, we designed an entire program to help enterprises through this painful recruitment journey, from Talents detection to their retention within the company. You can be among the next 25 companies to benefit from our support by getting selected to join our bootcamp from September 22 to 25th in Dakar, Senegal. You can furthermore benefit from our Talents and international mentors support in solving your company’s problems or work on your digital projects. We’ll help you find your perfect match!

Want to know more about it? Let’s have a call


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