Author:Mugan, Alex
Position:Talent Matters: The Employee Experience - Alex Mugan interview - Interview

A special mix of purpose and technology is giving some of Africa's younger firms an edge in the hunt for talent. Alex Mugan talks to representatives of BitPesa and Bridge International Academies to discover the secrets of Purpology

With the fourth industrial revolution making digital the new normal across most sectors, those who are continuing to stand out as employers are doing something more. They are combining their technological innovation with a social impact which we've seen repeatedly driving strong performances in Careers in Africa Employer of Choice rankings for the likes of the African Development Bank, DBSA and Afreximbank.

In doing so, they are creating a sense of Purpology, the new spin on the magic which has always been at the heart of successful employer brands. By mixing purpose and technology, these organisations are able to hit some of the key differentiators within the employee experience, including a sense of vision (enhanced by sustainability), competitive innovation (people like to back winners), personal development (you learn more working at the cutting edge) and trust in leadership (a strong mission makes leaders look better).

Strong employer brands have always operated in these areas, but the Purpology brands have hit on an on-trend mix of impact and innovation which is allowing them to compete favourably with significantly larger and older brands in-the race for talent. We spoke to representatives of two such organisations, BitPesa and Bridge International Academies, to find out how their employer brands are put together, and what results they are seeing.

How can Africa-focused tech brands compete with the global players for talent?

Charlene Chen, COO, BitPesa: "The tech industry across the continent, particularly in East and West Africa, has never been hotter. But it's the purpose which can set African brands apart. Dozens of African companies are already tackling incredibly huge challenges in fields ranging from agriculture and energy, to education and financial services. Africa-focused tech brands should focus on attracting talent who are more inspired by solving huge problems than on building tiny features for a limited customer segment."

Divya Venkat, VP People, Bridge International Academies "Bridge International Academies is a social justice movement, supported by technology. We run or support more than 1,200 nursery and primary schools (primarily public schools) across Africa and Asia and have educated...

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