Alex Mugan is the Managing Director of the Global Career Company and has been overseeing the Careers in Africa Employer of Choice survey and ranking for the last four years. Having seen the evolution of the survey and the resulting trends while also dealing firsthand with both employers and employees, in this interview Mugan offers his insights into the market across Africa and what it takes to attract the top talent to one's company.
Were there any surprises to this year's ranking?
A couple yes. The biggest one in the top 10 was Bridge International Academies, which is a big surprise given that in the last couple of years the rankings have been all about really established corporates and multilaterals. To see an organisation like Bridge, founded in the last 10 years and working on a much smaller scale than that was quite surprising.
Why you do you think Bridge ranked so highly?
I think it's got a lot to do with the type of things people are prioritising, the attraction drivers of the survey. It's clear that the purpose of brands, making an impact on the brand, making an impact on society, is an important factor. So, organisations that have got a central mission--which they do--are ideal.
Impact was a key driver last year. It still scores highly. It does yes.
What are the other key factors? This year the top attraction driver is the opportunity to learn new skills.
This is not a surprise. People are really interested in employers who develop them. They're more interested in that within Africa than when you do comparative surveys else where, with other examples around the globe. So, it's interesting to see that people investing in development is still an important factor for talent in Africa.
Other things that have come to the fore this year include trusted senior leadership. It's in the top three this year. That is where you are talking about leaders that listen; leaders that set a good ethical example; leaders that deliver the values of the business, and you can link that to people with interest in business with a purpose. They are not interested in leaders that push a bad mission; they're interested in leaders that push a good mission. Brands whose leaders are very visible doing those things have tended to do well.
How is the market changing in terms of skills employers are looking for, or for which there is great competition ?
If you go back five years, the big volume recruiters were definitely the oil and energy sector. In terms of...