Recently, a friend on LinkedIn tagged me and several others in a post which read,
“What really matters is human capital: you have to work with people who are smarter than you." Aliko Dangote
He asked if we agreed with this quote by one of Africa’s richest and most respected business moguls Aliko Dangote. Many people commented stating they agreed with Dangote. I, on the other hand, disagreed to a certain extent and wrote the below comment underneath the post.
“I'm not sure I agree 100%. While human capital is crucial to the growth of any organization, diversity is also equally important. Working with people smarter than you, in most cases, require more capital (financial) as they will be more seasoned and experienced. You have to also be open to employees you can train and groom into your business. A wealthy businessman like Dangote can afford to hire all seasoned employees who are smarter to manage his empire. Someone like me, managing a small scale consulting company will have to rely mostly on recent graduates looking to gain experience in the field. They will be smart of course, but not necessarily smarter because they are still learning. I do believe you have to work with people who are equally or more passionate than you.”
The world of work as we know it is changing, or should I say has changed and continues to change at a very rapid pace. With the rise of entrepreneurs and technology employers are no longer using archaic means and measures to employ and they are certainly not spending loads of money to find and retain talent. Employers are offering much more to their staff than just a basic salary.
The Future is here and NOW.
Gone are the days when employers based their hiring decision only on a curriculum vita or a resume. Now in the technology and millennial era employers look to hire based on one’s ability to understand technology and use the tools and platforms effectively and efficiently. According to a recent online poll conducted by Ryan Kay, HR Research Specialist and Job Advocate at Refer.io, 41% of employers used text messaging to schedule interviews in 2017. More than ever, employers are using, watching, and monitoring your online activities as part of their hiring decision-making.
The future of work is technology driven and does not discriminate. It does not only take into account one’s level of education or experience. Hiring decisions will not only be based on the aforementioned but rather adaptability, desire, passion, and drive. Employers are seeking employees who have the overall best interest of the company, how much they are willing to dedicate to its growth and how quickly and easily they assimilate into its corporate culture. The future of work takes into account diversity, flexibility and innovation. How best are you at working with others? Possessing skills necessary to help small startups scale and corporations build a legacy makes you an asset to any company.
At a recent seminar in Accra, Ghana organized by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) local Accra chapter, the speakers which included Robert Garcia, VP of SHRM Global, Philip Oti-Mensah, CEO, Omni Bank and Amma Benneh-Amponsah, HR Manager at MTN Ghana discussed the future of work and how important it is for HR to lead this change. The trio presented on Technology, Cultural Change and HR preparedness.
“Businesses that do not pay attention to HR will not be successful in the long-run.”- Philip Oti-Mensah
They advised employers to pay close attention and invest in human resources. Although robots are infiltrating our system, the truth is they will never be able to replace certain human functions. The SHRM speakers also suggested that employers embrace diversity, flexibility, inclusion as this is the future of work.
The importance of digital marketing for African Businesses;
1. 67% mobile penetration - Sub-Saharan Africa is expected to add more than 100 million unique subscribers to surpass a half-billion mark by 2020, according to a report by the GSM Association,
2. By the close of 2015, statistics indicated that Ghana had 35,283,957 telephone subscribers, which represented a teledensity of 129.63%. These statistics were given by Dr. Omane Boamah, former Minister of Communications under the John Mahama Administration, at the World Telecommunication Day Celebration in Accra.
3. According to the Global Mobile Consumer Survey, the average person looks at their phone at least 47 times per day.
My suggestion to businesses not leveraging on this new wave of doing business is that they jump on board as soon as possible. I strongly urge African business owners to embrace the technological advantages available to them. The use of technology should be incorporated into the day to day activities and hiring practices of businesses today especially early-stage startups. With statistics as impressive as the above, they will be at a disadvantage to not take heed.