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As the brain drain syndrome in the health and information technology (IT) sectors persists, Phillips Consulting (PCL) has revealed in its recent survey that about 52 per cent of Nigerian professionals are considering quitting their jobs and relocating abroad within a year.

The report by the talent management firm, titled: “A New World Order: Shifting Paradigms In Addressing Brain Drain,” was presented during the quarterly meeting of the Nigerian Human Resources Directors Network in Lagos.

The finance, insurance, professional services, education, healthcare and IT sectors are to be worst hit, as it was found that nearly 50 per cent of employees working in these fields are contemplating relocation.

According to the study, 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 survey noted that rising cost of living is impacting employees’ finances and productivity. Before the Ukraine crisis, the Nigerian economy witnessed several impediments, including unemployment, a weak currency and insecurity. The situation has worsened the high cost of living and affected remunerations and negatively impacted citizens’ purchasing power.

The research found that due to the harsh economy, 90 per cent of Nigerians are cutting spending on essential and non-essential items. This has resulted in financial stress, decreased purchasing power, lower job satisfaction and higher employment mobility and migration rates.

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Consequently, employees now channel efforts towards increasing revenue streams, improving economic stability and enhancing standard of living. To achieve these objectives, many are creating extra income sources, finding better paying jobs or relocating abroad. Resultantly, the attrition rate across key sectors has increased significantly.

As labour shortages continue to rise globally, there is intense competition for talents, especially in low-to-middle-skilled occupations.
PCL, in the report, also revealed top destinations and migration reasons, stating that employees are resigning or migrating for a mix of issues, some of which are either within or beyond organisation’s direct control.

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The findings disclosed that intending migrants often opt for Canada, United Kingdom and the United States as top three destinations.
Reasons for migration though vary, but most of the respondents cited factors such as better-paid jobs, less toxic work cultures, a desire to work from home and concerns about the country’s economy and insecurity.

The consulting firm observed that 88 per cent of individuals planning to quit their jobs within a year are millennials and Gen Z. This demographic shift could lead to a significant loss of skilled workers, which might negatively affect critical industries and the economy.

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Moreover, the demography includes young professionals with valuable skills and extensive education, making them highly desirable in the global job market.

More than 50 per cent of those sampled said they would consider cancelling their migration plans if Nigeria meets specific conditions. The requirements include a peaceful environment, improved economy, access to competitive and fairly paid job opportunities and effective leadership.

According to the survey, businesses should review employee value proposition and talent management strategy to succeed in today’s evolving 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 cost of living crisis.
The report pointed out that strategic talent management can enhance employee job satisfaction and retention with a view to fostering productive and diverse high-performance cultures in companies.

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On the role of government, it stressed that the impact of migration on the Nigerian economy is hugely complex.
The study submitted that migration of skilled workers from critical sectors could result in shortage of skilled labour, harm the economy and impede nation-building efforts.

Accordingly, government is advised to enthrone an environment conducive to work by implementing policies that promote security and economic growth. Furthermore, it should allocate more resources to education and areas that enhance social mobility and motivate citizens to stay back to contribute meaningfully to the development of their communities.

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Credit: The Guardian

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