South Africa is experiencing one of the largest skills reform and brain drain episodes since Covid. ‘The great resignation’ and ‘great renegotiation’, along with ‘quiet hiring’ and ‘quiet quitting’, are key causes. Added to this, global companies are taking advantage of local skilled employees by offering remote work earning in the currency where the employer company originates from, meaning employees are earning a wage above what local companies can offer.Pabi Mogosetsi, country manager for Universum Global South AfricaPabi Mogosetsi, country manager for Universum Global South Africa

We have been conducting various surveys to understand the talent landscape, and we have picked up on the following points that are crucial to attract and retain crucial talent:

Talent shortages for crucial skills

2022 marks the 16th year of the highest global shortage (Manpower, Q3 2022) and this is evident with our talent preference changes in South Africa. At least 40% of professionals are looking to move employees and even industries within the next six months in SA. The data has clearly shown that 65% of those who leave organisations will likely not return to their industry of origin. At the same time, 17% of that original 65% do not return to the workforce entirely to pursue gig work and build on their side hustles or passions and other various spaces. It is more crucial now to strategise the HR teams and include them in the overall organisational areas, not just human capital, for them to fully understand being an ambassador to their organisations.


Our Wellbeing Survey identified that some of the biggest influencers in this category are flexibility, work-life balance, and creating a culture of belonging where your contributions are noticed and praised or encouraged.

However, many employees said that they would rather speak to a third party concerning their issues than someone internally. This tells me that there is minimal trust in the organisations regarding this matter. Additionally, 77% of employees feel they can not be themselves at work; however, 84% of students surveyed said they think they would be able to be themselves when entering the workplace. This means there is an opportunity here as well as a lot of work to do to make this expectation a reality.

Hybrid work – one size does not fill all

Getting back to the office has been a sore point for many corporates who have struggled to get their workforce back for various reasons. Many corporates want people back in the office to maintain and build culture, break silos and provide more accessibility in terms of resources – especially with our country facing load shedding.

Our data has shown that an average of two days in the office is a great medium for the talent population. However, one size does not fit all, as each organisation is a unique ecosystem that needs to identify its best way of working, so communication is vital.

Fostering a feedback culture and open space to communicate with your people helps them feel wanted and understood in making important decisions, but also to help assess your risk and build the company culture at the same time. This is why a strong EVP backed by a formidable employer brand is one of the ways to enhance your organisation as an employer of choice.


DEI, which stands for diversity, equity and inclusion, is very important to talent. We see 78% of future talent indicating that they would like to see an employee embrace and extend equal opportunities to them and their peers. The EVP is one of the spaces where employers can humble brag and reach out to the talent they want – whether the talent lies in the high school education or early tertiary, they can speak volumes by making intentional changes that are directly attached to their brand identity.

The rise of the digital nomad in the market (gig economy)

We have noticed that more and more talent would not mind having two jobs to cover expenses while also working on their side hustle. However, they demand flexibility and understanding from their main company. We have come to understand that not everyone is necessarily looking to stay in the same industry or have a linear approach to their careers. The pandemic lockdown has opened up opportunities to expand vertically and horizontally, with many managers and CEOs looking at finding other opportunities. (Forbes, June 2022)

With the current semigration, we have noticed a lot more individuals willing to double-hat their responsibility to either create a more secure space of income with more income streams and fulfill their career desires, as a way to be able to feel satisfied and secure and expand their flexibility options if anything had to suddenly change – as the pandemic time showed us.

By being forthright and building a sustainable talent group and skills hub with a touch of understanding current talent by making them feel they belong, they matter and they are valued and wanted, will help many organisations weather the storm that has reached our shores and brewing harder than ever.

Credit : Bizcommunity