Recruiting for Africa's agricultural sector

bradleybarrarticleCA Global Africa Recruitment group MD Bradley Barr spoke to African Farming at the Agroinvestment Summit in London

CA Global Group, a leading agricultural recruitment company in Africa, specialises in recruitment across major farming commodities, agro-forestry and related financing activities to African clients. The firm offers a team of highly experienced recruiters who identify expat, local and diaspora skills to meet client requirements. The company has six divisions: CA Global; banking, insurance, legal and finance; CA Mining; global recruitment; CA Oil & Gas; Jobs and Recruitment. In addition to agriculture, the company supplies operations, financial services, banking, executives and investment finance specialists in more than 40 countries. 

AF: What sets you apart from other recruitment companies in Africa?

BB: We are Africa specialists, there is nobody else really that does what we do. What is different from other recruitment agencies, is yes you look at your locals and you talk to your local recruitment agencies but we are the next stage. We are looking at it from a global perspective and don’t want to compete with the locals. So the local companies do what they can do to identify the talent, then when they talk to us we are the headhunters that go and identify where that skillset is outside the country. 

AF: You mentioned earlier that you have tried moving the business outside Africa but then decided against it?

BB: We did try looking at first world countries where we could build our hubs, but our business is in Africa. We came back to where the core business is.

AF: How do you tailor specialised situations to meet your clients’ requirements?

BB: It depends on the need they require - we take each one on a case to case basis and then we map out where those skills are and where those nationalities are. We have researchers in the back end that map out that market.

AF: How do you gather the information you need to do this?

BB: The Internet, databases, through our own networks we have established over the years and then we do a big marketing drive - social media platforms, our websites. 

AF: On a day-to-day basis what major challenges have you faced and how have you tried to overcome them?

BB: I think it’s people’s expectations when you try to send an expat or member of the diaspora back to his country and he thinks he’s going to be earning what he earns in the western world and a premium. I think that is one of our biggest challenges - how we manage that process and expectation up front.

AF: What different requirements are needed in certain parts of Africa?

There are so many factors that come into it but usually you have to got to understand the needs of the country - what is required in that country and how you match that up. We have learnt over the years what works, what doesn’t work, what type of people we should be looking at and what types of backgrounds.

You also go into the countries and speak to people, get a general feel of what will work there which may not in another part of Africa?

We have long-term relationships with a lot of major international clients. They would always come to us because they know we understand what kind of nationalities, what type of people would fit in the organisation between those different countries.

AF: What are your future predictions for the recruitment sector across Africa?

I think it is exploding as it is. I think it’s more about localisation and empowering the locals. I think that is going to change in the years to come. You see that happen in the first world, and I do think education is the biggest part of it all. You see a massive investment going into the education sector across Africa. 

Yes, there is so much potential for different sectors in Africa to grow and expand. The problem is obtaining that knowledge to use the right tools that are usually easily accessible.

But if you look at Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, they have highly educated individuals. They are just looking for the right opportunities - there is a lot of political influence but I don’t think that is a reason for them not to reach their full potential. 



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