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    South Africa is losing critical skills due to emigration. In the last 20 years, an estimated half a million or more skilled, qualified people have left the country for other opportunities. The causes of emigration are complex, but the net result is simple – South Africa is experiencing an ongoing “brain drain”, often leaving businesses without qualified, experienced people to fill in the gaps.

    In recent years, this talent drain has had a serious effect on many of our clients. Emigration should be a concern for everyone in South Africa who is starting or running a business – and it’s about more than merely losing talent and skills.

    South Africa is losing people with education and skills, but that’s not the only problem. Countries that appear attractive to immigrants see higher salary increases than countries experiencing a brain drain. This is a vicious cycle, because skilled people can’t get the same kinds of salaries in their home countries as they do overseas.

    At NOVA, we believe that companies should be engaging in continuous succession planning. Firstly, your company needs to ensure there is a good reason for employees to stay, but you should also ensure that the necessary identification and upskilling of high-performance individuals is taking place in order to enable them to step into the role of any departing key individual within the organisation. We recommend that businesses should do an intensive investigation into their employees’ value systems to find out what is important to them, and what will assist in retaining them.

    At the same time, most companies are not doing enough to upskill talented employees and groom them into key functions within the company. In some cases, this is because companies are worried they will spend money on training, only to lose the employee later. However, this becomes counterproductive, as the company then struggles with staff who have received insufficient skills and training to perform their jobs properly.

    NOVA offers clients a full range of consulting services to help minimise, or even eliminate, the effects of emigration on your company. These services include an in-depth evaluation of your business’ current talent model, and recommendations on the changes needed to ensure effective succession planning.

    We provide our clients with a thoroughly designed talent model that helps them not only identify critical skills, but also design a training plan and succession plan. We work with our clients to make sure there is a detailed, viable skills and career development plan, and that they have set out appropriate and manageable KPIs in order to achieve these.

    NOVA also works closely with various partners to offer upskilling and training services, including Everlean, to source and manage outsourced learnership programmes for clients, and with management consultants to train and upskill management teams.

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