By Rosemary Iwunze
About 52 per cent of Nigerian professionals are considering leaving their current jobs and moving abroad within a year.
This is contained in a recent survey by Phillips Consulting tagged, ‘The Talent Management Report’, with the theme “A New World Order: Shifting Paradigms in Addressing the Brain Drain,” which was presented during the quarterly meet-up of the Nigerian Human Resources Directors Network in Lagos.
Giving the background to this situation, the report said Nigerian businesses face numerous challenges in the post-pandemic world, such as market uncertainty, inflation, digitisation acceleration, changes in consumer behaviour, increased operational expenses, and complexity, but employee retention and brain drain prevention are today’s most pressing issues.
The report noted that finance & insurance, professional services, education, healthcare, and IT will be the hardest-hit professions, adding that nearly 50% of employees working in these fields are considering leaving.
The report stated: “The rising cost of living is impacting employees’ finances and workplace productivity. Before the Ukraine crisis, the Nigerian economy faced multiple challenges, including unemployment, a weak currency, and insecurity. The situation has exacerbated the high cost of living and affected employees’ finances and purchasing power.
“Research findings show that 90% of Nigerians who have faced an increased cost of living are cutting their spending on essential and non-essential items. “This has resulted in financial stress, decreased purchasing power, lower job satisfaction, and higher job mobility and migration rates.
“Consequently, employees now channel their efforts toward increasing their revenue streams, improving economic stability, and enhancing their standard of living.
“To achieve these objectives, many are creating a ‘side hustle,’ finding better-paying jobs, or relocating abroad. As a result, the attrition rate across key sectors has increased significantly.
“As labour shortages continue to rise globally, there is intense competition for talent, especially in low-to-middle-skilled occupations”.
According to Phillips Consulting, 88% of individuals who plan to quit their jobs within a year are millennials and Gen Z.
They stated: “This demographic shift could lead to a significant loss of skilled workers, which may negatively affect critical industries and the economy. Moreover, this demographic includes young professionals with valuable skills and extensive education, making them highly desirable in the global job market.
“More than 50% of those surveyed said they would consider cancelling their migration plans if Nigeria met specific conditions. These conditions include a peaceful environment, better economic conditions, access to competitive and fairly paid job opportunities, and effective leadership.”
According to the Phillips Consulting survey report, businesses should review their employee value proposition and talent management strategy to succeed in today’s constantly evolving talent management landscape. This means considering hybrid work arrangements, implementing a fair employee compensation strategy, and providing learning and career development opportunities. Additionally, employers should re-evaluate their approach to the cost-of-living crisis. Strategic talent management can enhance employee job satisfaction and retention, which is vital for fostering productive and diverse high-performance cultures in companies.