SA’s senior executives eyeing international opportunities

Advaita Naidoo, COO at independent executive search firm, Jack Hammer.

Over the past three years, there has been a consistent year-on-year increase in the number of professionals who would consider leaving the country. This year, an unprecedented 86% of top South African executives polled for a leading annual survey indicated that they would take seriously an offer to move abroad.

“These statistics support the findings of other independent surveys and research projects across a number of other sectors this year,” says Advaita Naidoo, COO at independent executive search firm, Jack Hammer.

The findings are contained in the latest Jack Hammer Executive Report (Volume 5). The annual publication investigates the leadership landscape in South Africa and the rest of Africa. This year, research focused on the management makeup of SA’s Top 40 listed companies (totaling 373 executives and 41 CEOs), as well as a random selection of 40 other large to medium sized organisations with offices in SA (The Broad 40). In addition, senior managers of local and multinational companies across the retail, financial services, professional services, education, FMCG and telecoms sectors were polled on a number of issues, such as business sentiment and outlook for the future.

The results show that the percentage of executives willing to relocate abroad has significantly jumped from 47% in 2016. Last year, 78% of leaders indicated that they would consider such a major move, with the upwards trend continuing this year.

“Unfortunately, this also bodes ill for transformation, as 49% of those interested in relocating to ‘greener pastures’ were black respondents,” Naidoo says.

She says this trend – of senior professionals from all backgrounds who are willing to consider a future outside of the country – is likely to persist in coming years.

“This presents a substantial challenge for companies wanting to secure the best leaders, particularly given the economic challenges which further impact an organisation’s ability to lure and secure top talent.”

Naidoo says that South African managers are held in high regard wherever they land, and boast a reputation for being hard workers.

“Given the prevailing combination of push and pull factors, it’s merely a matter of time before international opportunity knocks for suitably qualified and experienced candidates, and the pool of top talent contracts a little bit more for each executive opening the door to a life abroad.

“So we have an unfortunate situation, where the number of top professionals committed to a career future in SA is diminishing, while the demand for their expertise is not.”

Naidoo says organisations must – urgently – start thinking creatively about how to approach the current and future building of strong teams that can drive growth.

“In times of difficulty, it is more important than ever to convince professionals with a strong track record that despite the current climate, your organisation will continue to offer opportunities worth staying for.

“Although there is not much an organisation can do to retain valuable employees whose reasons for leaving are based on socio-economic-political concerns about the future, they are not completely powerless. If things are going really well for someone professionally, and the company is acknowledging them with career opportunities and financial rewards, the inclination to look abroad might be a little less enticing.

“However, when people are continuously overlooked for promotions, don’t get the bonuses or financial incentives they deserve, or don’t feel a connection to the work that they are doing or the people they work with, the reasons to stay rapidly dwindle.”

Naidoo says that what makes the trend particularly concerning, is because it is exactly those people who are leaving who may be best positioned to effect meaningful change.

“Undoubtedly, we need to find a spirit of enthusiasm and positivity. Because while there remains incredible opportunity in the country, the push factors can seem overwhelming and result in a desperate desire to move on, particularly for young and emerging leaders who want to create a sustainable future for their families.”



Latest


16 Feb 2021
Transition management services partnership announced

Standard Bank has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Chicago-headquartered financial services company Northern Trust, to partner on the…

Transition management services partnership announced

Standard Bank has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Chicago-headquartered financial services company Northern Trust, to partner on the delivery of transition management services across Southern Africa. Under the partnership, Standard Bank’s clients will gain access to Northern Trust’s full suite of transition management services. Transition Management is a…

16 Feb 2021
Tax free wealth creation with property funds

By Liliane Barnard, CEO and Portfolio Manager at Metope Investment Managers, and Aimee Glisson, Director: Operations, Performance & Risk at…

Tax free wealth creation with property funds

By Liliane Barnard, CEO and Portfolio Manager at Metope Investment Managers, and Aimee Glisson, Director: Operations, Performance & Risk at Metope Investment Managers The tax year, along with the deadline for an investor’s maximum R36 000 annual tax-free savings account contribution, comes to an end on the 28 February 2021. Investors…

16 Feb 2021
Why multi-manager investing is popular

Multi-management has been around for over two decades. This investment management approach is popular among many investors because it promises…

Why multi-manager investing is popular

Multi-management has been around for over two decades. This investment management approach is popular among many investors because it promises to deliver smoother, more consistent investment returns, despite cyclical turbulence of financial markets. Given last year’s drastic swings in financial markets and continued uncertainty on how the Covid pandemic will…

16 Feb 2021
Momentum Health Solutions unpacks COVID-19 vaccine roll-out plan

Momentum Health Solutions announced its COVID-19 vaccine roll-out strategy and how it intends to support both its members, as well…

Momentum Health Solutions unpacks COVID-19 vaccine roll-out plan

Momentum Health Solutions announced its COVID-19 vaccine roll-out strategy and how it intends to support both its members, as well as the uncovered population, in being vaccinated. As the COVID-19 virus continues to spread, a third wave is imminent, should the vaccination rollout not commence soon. Speaking at a recent…


Top stories


10 Sep 2020
How too much choice is draining your brain

By: Paul Nixon, head of technical marketing and behavioural finance at Momentum Investments From the words of Francis Scott Key…

How too much choice is draining your brain

By: Paul Nixon, head of technical marketing and behavioural finance at Momentum Investments From the words of Francis Scott Key that dubbed America “The land of the free”, which stuck, to the unforgettable Mel Gibson monologue where an army of painted Scots were willing to trade their lives for the…

13 Apr 2020
Investors should keep a reasonable investment allocation outside of SA

MoneyMarketing asked Roland Gräbe, the head of Tailored Fund Portfolios at Old Mutual Wealth, about offshore investments in the COVID-19…

Investors should keep a reasonable investment allocation outside of SA

MoneyMarketing asked Roland Gräbe, the head of Tailored Fund Portfolios at Old Mutual Wealth, about offshore investments in the COVID-19 environment and what form a global market recovery will take.

13 Apr 2020
SA’s Proposed Covid-19 Disaster Management Tax Relief

The National Treasury recently issued the draft Disaster Management Tax Relief Bill (Bill) for public comment by 15 April. The…

SA’s Proposed Covid-19 Disaster Management Tax Relief

The National Treasury recently issued the draft Disaster Management Tax Relief Bill (Bill) for public comment by 15 April. The draft Bill, together with its explanatory memorandum, provides clarity with regards the tax relief measures President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on 23 March.

10 Apr 2020
When the going gets tough, farmers are on familiar territory

South African farmers are old hands at adapting to uncertain and daunting circumstances, and our local agricultural industry has proved…

When the going gets tough, farmers are on familiar territory

South African farmers are old hands at adapting to uncertain and daunting circumstances, and our local agricultural industry has proved to be most enterprising in acclimatising to challenges as they arise.


Visit the official COVID-19 government website to stay informed: sacoronavirus.co.za