Born and raised in Senegal, Chams Diagne did his higher education in France and his professional beginnings in the Viadeo group where he was in charge of the deployment of Viadeo in Africa. After ten years of services, Chams Diagne will undertake to start on his own account, creating the platform Talent2Africa, specializing in the recruitment of African executives for African markets. In this interview he gave to Bridges Builder, Chams Diagne reviews the executive search market in Africa and the major trends in e-recruitment on the continent.
- What is the business model of the Talent2Africa platform, specialized in e-recruitment, for companies recruiting in Africa?
I had the opportunity to come back to the African continent through the Viadeo Group where I oversaw developing its expansion in Africa. Through this ten-year experience within the Viadeo Group in Africa, I was able to identify opportunities in recruitment in Africa. This is what led me at one point to move on from Viadeo after ten years to launch my own project: Talent2Africa. Its initial objective was to connect the talents of the African diasporas with companies that recruit in Africa. Then we broadened the target more and more and today we are positioned as the pan-African platform for managerial employment in Africa, both for Africans residing on the continent and those living outside Africa. Recruiters in general and particularly in Africa, encounter three types of problems. The first is Time, as recruitments take a long time–an average of two to three months. Then there is the issue of quality, i.e. the profiles that are on the market versus those sought by recruiters. It just so happens that companies are often overwhelmed by applications, both spontaneous and posted. And it’s difficult for these companies to identify potential matches in this mass. The third difficulty that these companies face is price. Indeed, not all companies can call on recruitment agencies and headhunters. Talent2Africa’s ambition is to bring a concrete answer, a solution that solves this type of problem for the companies we work with.
- How do you go about it, operationally, through Talent2Africa?
The main tool we use at Talent2Africa is digital. We have an in-house knowledge and expertise in digital and social networks. It allows us to go fast and identify the best profiles that we bring to our own platform. Then, we have digitized a good part of our processes, both for interviews and reference checks. This allows us to establish for our customers, shorts list within a week and a maximum of two weeks. This is our response to the time and length of the recruitment process. Then, as far as quality is concerned, we have set up a process on our platform that allows us to pre-qualify candidates. This means that when the time comes, we will already have gained in quality in the profiling of candidates. Finally, in terms of cost, our ambition is to democratize headhunting. As a result, Talent2Africa’s costs are three to four times lower than market costs.
Does Talent2Africa only recruit for large companies in Africa?
In addition to large companies in Africa, Talent2Africa works with SMEs. We also want to have a socio-economic impact in Africa, which is why we are increasingly turning to small and medium enterprises to provide a beginning of solution to the unemployment of young graduates. This is how we make our offer affordable, so that entrepreneurs and managers of SMEs in Africa can avoid the costs of poor recruitment, which can be very high and can have a negative impact on the development of their organisation. So that for multinationals as well as for medium-sized and small companies, the offer of Talent2African, is a combination of digital and human. To go faster, better and with costs affordable to all.
- What is the profile of Talent2Africa users: the most sought-after profiles, the most recruiting sectors of activity, the countries through which companies recruit the most?
Talent2Africa is generalist. We work on about fifty countries on the continent with a portfolio of about a hundred clients. We develop international standards and processes. Before the coronavirus crisis, the sectors of activity that recruit the most in Africa are mainly Insurance, Construction, Renewable Energy, Pharmaceutical Industry, Finance, Telecom and IT. Today, as a result of the crisis, all the cards will be reshuffled as there will be a very strong impact on recruitment, which will be totally down. Currently, NGOs are recruiting the most and the IT sector is heading towards digital. What will undoubtedly emerge in the coming months is the recruitment of more expert profiles in all fields, rather than recruitment of beginner profiles. The ¾ members of Talent2Africa are French-speaking and the other quarter are English-speaking. Regarding the profiles, it is mainly financials, marketers, digital and civil engineers, and sales people. As for the countries that recruit the most in Africa, South Africa is first and foremost the largest recruitment market on the continent. Then come countries such as Kenya, Morocco, Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal and Central Africa.
- What are the next steps for Talent2Africa?
We’ve already raised funds over a year ago. It’s been very encouraging and we’ve been able to do a lot. We are preparing a new fundraising campaign very soon to have a presence in new markets on the continent.
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