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Beginners Guide to Recruiting in Africa

By May 29, 2017March 30th, 2023No Comments
Beginners Guide to Recruiting in Africa

As companies expand their market reach into foreign countries, it is important to pay attention to the cultural nuances present in that country. Different cultures lead to different expectations for employers, which can impact how companies recruit overseas.


In this post, we’ll lay the groundwork to help you prepare for recruiting in Africa so you can start building a qualified team for your global expansion.

Top Opportunities for Recruiting in Africa

In most recent decades, Africa as a continent has begun to show great potential for growth and business development, opening up opportunities for businesses. As their economy and capacity grow, more and more companies are looking to expand to the continent. Here are some of the top industries that are poised for growth:

Agriculture: Opportunity is ripe for improved farming techniques to provide more food at lower cost to the continent. Currently, most farming in Africa comes from small farms that are less than two hectares.

Finance and Banking: One of the headwinds that hold back African economies is a lack of good financing, creating an excellent opportunity for businesses in that field.

Consumer Goods: As the economy within Africa strengthens, so does the demand for wholesale and retail goods.

Telecommunications: Mobile devices act as payment and saving systems in Africa, bringing mobile technology to the heart of much economic activity.

Some countries provide special opportunities for business growth and recruiting local talent in Africa. The world economic forum reports that the fastest growing economies in Africa are: Ivory Coast, Tanzania, Senegal, Djibouti, Rwanda, Kenya, Mozambique, Central African Republic, Sierra Leone, and Uganda.

African Labor Law

Labor laws in any country can be extremely complicated. It’s always wise to know local labor laws before recruiting in order to maintain compliance. It can also be beneficial to partner with a third-party company with expertise in global expansion and experience in your country of interest to help you manage these requirements. For example, an International PEO can help your organization hire talent or relocate staff in locations where your company doesn’t have a legal entity in Africa faster by decreasing time to hire once you’ve found the right candidate.

Legal requirements for businesses in Africa are complicated to understand, and an in-country partner can help ensure compliance for a successful global expansion. Some country-specific labor laws to understand before you begin recruiting in Africa include:

Nigeria: Local labor law requires employees get at least one day off per week and six days paid vacation per year.

Kenya: Hiring and dismissal is a complex process with many rights guaranteed to the employee and enshrined into law.

Egypt: Workers can only work eight hours a day, six days a week, and must receive 21 days of paid vacation per year. Wrongful termination requires a minimum of two months’ salary for every year served.

African Culture

One of the most important things to understand when recruiting in a new international market is local culture. One of the key metrics used to understand the business culture is called “power distance.” Cultures with a high power distance defer more to leaders and prefer hierarchy whereas low power distance cultures encourage all ranks to interact on an equal footing.

For example, managers in many western countries with low power distance cultures, expect subordinates to actively participate and volunteer information in meetings. Subordinates with a high distance to power culture do not.

African cultures are typically high power distance cultures. These cultures typically rely more on an organized labor hierarchy to take worker concerns to management. Since these cultures value authority, it will have an effect on the kinds of interview questions one might ask.

There are a lot of fantastic opportunities for businesses to grow in Africa. Understanding local cultures and labor laws will help every business looking to expand into the continent. Contact Velocity Global today to see how we can help you recruit in Africa and guide you through a successful global expansion.