Venture for Africa launches Africa Tech Talent Retention Report, evaluating reasons behind increasing rates of employee churn among startups

The report surveyed over 75 current and former tech startup employees to better understand talent movement and retention trends

Fellowship program and recruitment firm Venture for Africa, today released a report  that evaluates the state of talent retention in Africa's startup ecosystem, with data gathered from a survey of 77 current or former tech startup employees on the continent.

The report answers questions such as:

  • What are the factors driving turnover within startups in Africa?
  • What kinds of opportunities are tempting talent away from current engagements?
  • How are companies in the ecosystem attracting the best talent?
  • What are the preferred benefits, perks and workplace experiences that are highly rated amongst top talent?
  • What are the untapped opportunities and ignored threats that managers can take advantage of to improve retention?

The goal of the report is to provide more data-driven insights about reasons for challenges in talent acquisition and retention in Africa's startup ecosystem and how startup teams can think about tackling the persistent talent challenges they face.

“There is no shortage of high quality talent in Africa and the Diaspora. But for high-growth startups, finding the right fit for their specific needs can be difficult, and with big tech companies and other industries offering sky-high salaries, it may be even harder to entice. As a result, we’re seeing an increase in the size of funding startups here in Africa need to successfully attract top talent and build their teams,” said Tobi Lafinhan, Co-founder, Venture for Africa. “However, we are also seeing a trend where employee turnover is happening at faster rates. This puts startups in a near constant and expensive cycle of looking for good people. We launched this report to dig deeper into the retention issue within our ecosystem and provide insights that can help hiring managers and teams make better decisions when it comes to retention strategies for the talent that will be essential to the growth of their businesses.”

Key insights include:

● 67% of talent began contemplating their exit less than 6 months before they left.

● Company culture and clear pathways for growth were two of the most common reasons why talent left. The day-to-day working environment, overall company culture, lack of growth opportunities and quality of leadership were mentioned.

● Only 40% of managers were said to have provided quality leadership, guidance and motivation, and 60% of managers did not clearly communicate expectations with their teams

● 64% of talent say that besides better pay, better career advancement opportunities attracted them to a new role.

Venture for Africa is a fellowship program designed to fill talent gaps in Africa’s startup ecosystem by enabling top local and global fellows to access opportunities at leading startups in Africa.

Launched in 2020, VOA's mission is to accelerate economic growth and technological innovation in Africa by mobilising the next generation of startup talent and equipping them with the experiences and context they need to meaningfully contribute to elevating businesses and livelihoods in Africa.

Its flagship, 3-month fellowship program combines on-the-ground experience offering localized context, with expert mentorship and real project work at leading startups hiring now.

Download the report for free here.