Three ways companies can attract, retain local tech talent

Tek Experts, a global provider of technical talent solutions, has revealed how companies can attract, and retain local tech talent in Nigeria.

Aileen Allkins, chief customer officer at Tek Experts and elev8, said looking within the organisation, knowing the competitors, and considering alternatives are the key strategies companies can use in order to attract and retain local tech talents.

She spoke on Thursday at a webinar organised in partnership with BusinessDay Media Limited on Thursday. The webinar, themed ‘Bridging the Digital Skills Gap’, explored ways companies can bridge the digital skill gap, and identified opportunities and challenges facing Nigeria.

“Companies should look within their organisations and grow their people from within, especially if they don’t have technical backgrounds because most of them are capable of upskilling and reskilling,” she said.

Allkins said the exodus of Nigerian talent to other countries like the United Kingdom and Canada has made it difficult for local companies to get access to talent that used to be abundant.

“Lots of companies are looking for alternative ways of getting access to talents either through outsourcing. They are also looking to think of broader ways of getting access to the digital talents as it becomes available,” she added.

BusinessDay had earlier reported that the exodus of Nigerian employees, especially from the tech sector, is forcing some employers to seek attraction and retention strategies in order to ensure the stability and sustainability of their businesses.

Some of the strategies identified by human resource professionals/experts are job shadowing (on-the-job training from a more experienced colleague), reward systems, and second work arrangements (employees work for half salary when a replacement is found).

Olamide Adeyeye, a Lagos-based human development researcher, said people are now coming up with more interesting ways to attract talent because they have become limited.

“And what this does is to put some power in the hands of employees because a lot of times, employers call the shots in the workplace but based on this kind of arrangement, employees now have a seat at the table,” Adeyeye said.

Read also: Nigerian firms turn to freelance coders amid talent shortage

The socioeconomic indicators such as inflation, unemployment, and insecurity, which have worsened over the past six years, are forcing many Nigerians, especially the youths, to leave the country in droves.

And one of the ways they are leaving is through study visas in countries like Canada and the UK. These countries, especially the UK, have been aggressive in attracting human talent to fill their vacant job roles.

In 2021, Nigeria recorded a total of 43,200 sponsored study visas (scholarships) granted by the UK, a 236.3 percent increase from 12,845 in 2020.

Canada’s study permits to Nigerians also increased by 30.3 percent to 13,745 in 2021 from 10,550 in 2020.

“Nigeria is facing its own challenges, which are leading to brain drain in the country. For example, 52 percent of Africans between the ages of 18 and 34 years are likely to migrate over the next couple of years,” Olugbolahan Olusanya, country manager at Tek Experts, said.

Olusanya said the country should take advantage of the over 6,000 people that graduate from tertiary institutions annually. “This is a very large number of untapped talents that cut across IT, engineering, business, and management.”

He added that the country’s high unemployment rate of 33 percent means that it has a talent base that can support both domestic and global clients.

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