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9 out of 10 unqualified for jobs they apply to – African recruitment survey

Dec 13 2018 21:31
Fin24

Close to 90% of people applying to jobs in two major African economies are, objectively, not a match for the role advertised, according to recent research.

The research was conducted by Ringier One Africa Media (ROAM), a digital classifieds group in Sub Saharan Africa which operates in eight countries. It encompasses the job portals Jobberman in West Africa, Brightermonday in East Africa, as well as Executive Recruitment and HR Solutions firm The African Talent Company.

The company analysed data sets from over 12 million users and 100 000 employers across Nigeria and Kenya active in the last two years.

Skills mismatch

The mismatch between jobs and candidates was not necessarily due to dishonesty on the part of candidates, but rather a misunderstanding of the recruitment process among both recruiters and applicants, the researchers said.

Matthew Page, ROAM Head of Jobs, said the researchers were "shocked" by the mismatch between skills and applications, saying: "Our initial hypothesis was that this is due to a shortage of jobs, gaps in the labour markets, and desperation.

"However, digging deeper into our database, our analysis found that many candidates were indeed qualified for other available jobs, but did not necessarily apply for these."

The employment challenge lay in matching the right person to the right job, Page said.

Wasted efforts

The research further showed that the average job listing received about 140 – 160 applications, showing that there were "huge hiring efforts" involved in applications and recruitment, even before the interview.

This, in turn, impacted productivity for both recruiters and applicants. According to Page, productivity could be maximised where unqualified requests are reduced and by "hiring the right competency upfront".

"This also minimises the onboarding time required to get an employee up to speed," Page explained.

Clemens Weitz, CEO of ROAM, believes improving recruitment processes across the African continent will improve employment and economic prospects.

"Solving this challenge will unlock tremendous latent economic potential. Imagine an efficient economy, where all employees sit in the job that is a perfect, natural fit for their individual nature. Productivity and satisfaction would skyrocket," Weitz said.

ROAM planned to introduce AI and machine learning to ease recruitment across its classified sites in 2019, Weitz added.

At the end of 2017, Nigeria's unemployment rate had climbed for nine consecutive quarters. In November 2018, Statistician-General Yemi Kale said the country could not afford to release updated unemployment data.

Kenya's official unemployment rate is, controversially, stated as 7.4%. However, according to the National Bureau of Statistics, the minority of working-age Kenyans worked full-time, with the country facing a widespread problem of "underemployment".

A total of 27 African countries have an unemployment rate higher than the world average of 7.9%. South Africa is ranked third-highest on the continent.

africa  |  recruitment  |  unemployment
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