Are There Actually no Jobs in Nigeria?

by Olateju Oladapo HR Officer at RS Hunter Limited , November 16, 2015 

No-Vacancy-SignWe’ve all heard it said time and again that there are no jobs in Nigeria but what does this really mean? Are there really no jobs or could it be the that we don’t have adequately qualified people to fill the vacant positions that exist? Could it be that job seekers lack the necessary information and strategy required to effectively job hunt or perhaps some have allowed this popular saying to negatively affect their desire to go out and actively search.

InternshipDiagramYoung graduates these days envision big things and have lofty ideas.  Few desire to start small and most are looking for big paying job right at the start of their career despite lacking work experience. It’s okay to aim high but it is also important to be realistic with yourself.  During periods of high unemployment, seek voluntary positions and internship opportunities to build your workplace experience.  Remember, at the beginning of your career while you have potential, you offer very little to your employer who is investing in you by giving you exposure to the working environment which enables you meet and rub minds with fellow professionals – in some cases employers may also invest in formal training courses.  It is only after a few years of ‘cutting your teeth’ at your chosen career that you can aim for higher paying positions, at which time your competency will do the talking.

What are employers looking for?

  1. Drive: Do you have the impulse to achieve excellence?
  2. Culture fit: Will you fit into the way things are done in the organisation?
  3. Communication skills: Are you able to communicate effectively using oral,
    Job Offerwritten and presentation methods?
  4. A strong and positive online presence: What does your LinkedIn profile say about you?
  5. A good resume: Have you been able to summarise and present who you are in a way that captures their attention?
  6. Workplace skills: Does your experience and description of who you are highlight key skills (time management, problem solving etc) that will make you excel in the workplace?
  7. Reliable and hardworking: Can your employer count on you?

Some tips for job seekers

You may be right that there are fewer jobs than people who require them, but the fact that the vacancies exist means you must position yourself as much as you can to successfully land your chosen job.

Business challenge isolated on white

Here are some tips:

  1. You need to ask yourself what you want, how you intend to get what you want and what you need to do to get there.
  2. Have a list of companies you would like to work with.
  3. Know the position or field you would like to specialize in e.g. Administration, Finance, Marketing, IT, Human Resources etc. Do your research on the skills and competencies required to be effective in your chosen field.
  4. Participate in training courses (online, classroom etc) to acquire the skills you are deficient in.
  5. Review your CV, make sure it’s short, precise and free of grammatical errors.
  6. Prepare yourself for interviews, read up on how to prepare for an interview, likely interview questions and how to answer them.
  7. Pick up opportunities to volunteer in your chosen field.
  8. Contact prospective employers directly if you can ( LinkedIn would be a good tool). Do not harass them!
  9. Stay focused, don’t relent in your search – job hunting is a job itself!

dart-job-search-targetYou must believe there is a job out there waiting for you but while you are still looking for it, make yourself employable by acquiring basic soft skills employers desire to see in employees.  All things said, success starts in the mind.  Change your mantra.  Wake up every morning believing there are jobs in Nigeria and say to yourself “I am going out there today and I will be getting mine!”

The Significance of Screening Candidates

by Adetayo Adu-Okubote, Consultant at RS Hunter Limited , November 04, 2015 

October 2015 was surely exciting in Nigeria, particularly for people who are interested in politics, the progress of Nigeria and the socio-political climate of the country in general. Why? Well, the screening of ministerial nominees by the Senate was carried out after the long-awaited list of nominees was submitted to the upper chambers of the National Assembly.

Saraki Screening

I was gobsmacked to see many Nigerians glued to their TV sets as proceedings for the screening were broadcast live. All the social networks were buzzing as Nigerians cheered and jeered the nominees on the Senate hot seat. Now that the messianic songs during campaign and elections are over, we are back to the real business of seeing the federal government form its cabinet and start work to fulfill its campaign promises.

Fashola screening

As I observed the ministerial screening and vibes that came with it from a HR point of view; I was reminded of the understated importance of the recruitment process and the screening of candidates for a role.  For HR professionals, this is not a new process as it is a part of our everyday work-life.

Whilst we enjoy the pleasure of the moment, we should not forget the significance of a successful screening process.  Whether it is for a ministerial position or filing a vacant position within a corporate organisation; a quality screening process is the difference between finding the perfect fit for the job or putting a square peg in a round hole.

It has been strongly suggested over time that the more thorough a screening process, the better the chances of making a high-quality fit for both the candidate seeking employment and the employer. In the case of the ministerial screening, the Senate had earlier promised that it would not be ‘business as usual’ and unlike the past, when some of the nominees were merely asked to take a bow on the floor of the Senate chambers, this time around, they were going to properly scrutinize them by digging deep into their qualifications as well as their moral and social antecedence. This is similar to promises made by recruiters and HR executives when they conduct recruitment on behalf of a client.

screening-resumes-and-applications

However, the question remains: Will these promises be kept or left unfulfilled?

In order for a screening to be effective, we need to ensure that adequate time is invested and the resources required are available at each stage of the process. Not taking the time to carry out a thorough screening may mean the wrong person is hired for the job thereby negatively impacting organisational productivity, team morale, customer satisfaction and even competitive advantage in the marketplace.  However, during the screening process there is also the risk of losing out on top talent when the right questions are not asked or they are asked in a manner that does not produce the answers that are required.

bigstock-Penguins-Recruiting-Interview-1619040

Meeting candidates face-to-face is necessary during an assessment as it provides a non-verbal insight into how well a candidate may perform within an employer’s organisation. Cues like eye contact, facial expressions, posture, gestures and how a candidate responds to a question are only gauged through a face-to-face interview.  Unfortunately, only approximately 50 percent of recruiters take advantage of this opportunity before submitting names of candidates to their clients.

Now that the minister’s screening has been concluded and the nominees have been confirmed; Nigerians are eagerly waiting for the ministers to deliver and by parity of reasoning, we as HR professionals also have high expectations for our candidates to do the same.

 

What does your CV say about you?

cover-letter-cartoonYour CV/resume is your first chance to make a good impression with a potential employer.  It can make or break your chances of being invited for an interview.  Because your CV is the key marketing document you have; spelling and grammatical errors are a complete ‘no-no’ and must be avoided.

 

Below are some ‘good’ examples of ‘bad’ mistakes:

  1. I have a graduate degree in unclear physics
  2. My hobbies include raising long-eared rabbis as pets
  3. My last job was as a plumbing and hating specialists
  4. I worked for 6 years as an uninformed security guard
  5. The academic scholarship I earned came with a plague
  6. I’m attacking (attaching) my resume for you to review
  7. As part of the city maintenance crew, I repaired bad roads and defective brides
  8. My career goal is to shave my talents with a growing company
  9. Languages: Speak English and Spinach
  10. Dear Sir or Madman
  11. Instrumental in ruining entire operation for a Midwest chain store
  12. Woman who sent her resume and cover letter without deleting someone else’s editing, including such comments as “I don’t think you want to say this about yourself here”

resume-cartoon-linchi-kwok-blog

Remember:

  • Most recruiters only have a few hours to go through hundreds of job applications so for your CV to pass the first hurdle, it must be well written.
  • Avoid spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. You do not want to be remembered for the wrong reasons.
  • Don’t be in a hurry to send your CV out. Take time to prepare and proof-read it. When you are done you can seek the opinion of others who you trust will give you good feedback.

“Change? But everything is perfect just the way it is….”

© RS Hunter Limited, October 29, 2015

The ability to adapt to change has always been a necessity for survival and Benjamin Franklin’s quote “When you’re finished changing, you’re finished.” is still as relevant today as it was three centuries ago.

Every business is tasked with ChangeManagement3ensuring it remains relevant in its industry by responding to the ever-changing environment in which it operates.

So why do employees resist change?  It’s simply because change can be stressful for those involved. So, unless a structured approach is adopted to ensure thorough and smooth implementation, change initiatives may not be successful in the long term.

To guarantee that the benefits of organisational change are long-lasting, change management is required.

Change management

At the center of any change initiative are the employees who are most times uncertain during such periods and as a result are likely to be resistant.  To deal with this, the human resources team must develop a formal approach for managing anticipated people issues that may arise and ensure the approach is fully integrated into the organisations decision making process and change management plan.

Change management should follow three simple steps:

change-management

  1. Preparation: Prepare for the change by carrying out detailed planning, setting clear goals and ensuring open and effective communication between management and employees
  2. Implementation: Manage the change project by paying close attention to feedback from employees
  3. Evaluate, review and report: Reinforce the change by continuous analysis of the desired impact, identify any gaps, implement corrective actions to ensure gaps are addressed and celebrate success where achieved.

In summary, organisational change is usually a long process; it requires commitment and staying power to be successful.  Always remember, while HR is responsible for identifying and putting a plan in place to deal with the challenges associated with the ‘human side’ of change; executive management and line managers must demonstrate buy-in and play an active role in the change management process to ensure its success.

 

How Do You Know The Best Culture To Adopt For Your Organisation?

© RS Hunter Limited, October 28, 2015

 
Company-Culture-ElementsAs a consulting firm we have had the privilege of working with numerous companies that have different corporate cultures. In our experience, most start-ups and SMEs have allowed their culture to develop without much input from management, however as the organisation becomes larger, executive management tends to seek assistance towards developing a culture that drives performance and business growth.

cartoon-organizational-culture

The question we are usually asked is ‘what is the right culture to adopt?’ In most instances, the concerns are centered around possible abuse of the culture, the cost of driving cultural change and how to measure the positive impact on the company’s bottom-line.

Most of us have heard of how companies like Google and Facebook have through their culture achieved better customer focus and satisfaction which has in turn led to brand strength and business growth. While the culture that works for one company may not work for another, what is common with companies that are doing it right is that they pay particular attention to how they treat their employees.

Randy Glasbergen

Our advice? It’s simple. Each company has to determine how they want to be perceived by those they wish to attract to their business (employees, customers and shareholders) and put a plan in place to achieve it.  Bottom line is apart from the air we breathe, nothing good comes easy or free so like anything we want, we have to work hard at it.