MANAGEMENT: Opportunities Available For Black Talent In The Cape
Recent Western Cape Business News
While Johannesburg continues to out-do Cape Town when it comes to career options for black executives, there are many opportunities open to top black professionals in the Mother City…...provided they can put aside their preconceptions about the Cape.
Debbie Goodman-Bhyat, MD of Jack Hammer Executive Headhunters, says “Cape Town corporates are faced with a worsening catch-22 situation – because there are fewer black executives working in Cape Town, social circles as well as business networks are smaller and less established, making the Mother City a seemingly less attractive option in terms of a complete career and lifestyle offering for top black talent.
“Many corporates in the Cape are pushing hard to recruit and retain high level black managers in order to drive and deliver on transformation imperatives. Top management and specialist positions are sometimes left vacant because suitably qualified black professionals are unwilling to consider relocation to Cape Town, despite the great career opportunities and packages on offer.”
“Recent research from our Market Intelligence team shows that for certain types of job roles, 70% to 80% of potential black candidates are currently based in Gauteng. This means that the likelihood of a Cape organisation sourcing local candidates for these types of positions is extremely limited”, notes Goodman-Bhyat.
As a result, in some circumstances, companies are forced to agree to the less than desirable ‘commuting’ option for black execs, who are reluctant to relocate with their families to Cape Town, for fear of the move being unpalatable for the rest of the family. This fear is supported by stories of black families trying out the Cape but returning to Gauteng after relatively short stints.
“So, for those black executives keen to move and take advantage of the situation, they really have the pick of top career advancement opportunities available in the Cape”. Goodman-Bhyat says.
Some progressive Cape-based organisations are trying to address this situation in a holistic way, recognising that the lure of great job opportunities and good financial packages is clearly not enough to change the current scenario. Emphasis on broader business and social networks, as well as efforts to assist with the integration and settling in of the whole family are part of the agenda for companies aiming to change their demographics in a meaningful way.
“The process is a slow one, but it is inevitable that the Western Cape will become an equally good lifestyle option for black executives in the near future”. She concludes.
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