Before You Launch Job Recruitment Startup in Nigeria

Before You Launch Job Recruitment Startup in Nigeria

In Nigeria, there is one web business category that looks simple on paper: building and managing a career website. Yes, with unprecedented unemployment paralysis, the thinking is that having a career website will be a solid venture. But do not be deceived: there is nothing harder than helping people find jobs when there are no jobs.

Nigeria is an employer-market, and by that I mean that employers do not really struggle to find people to hire, provided they are not going esoteric in their Missions (no building of rockets, breaking DNAs, etc). If the mission is the typical – banking, retail, insurance, etc; there are many people ready to help. But where you do not get that, you jump in. Another company is exiting: Naspers’ Careers24 Nigeria is closing.

  • Media24 is shutting down Careers24 in Nigeria over stiff competition

  • Marc Privett, Head of Careers24, says the company will continue to service existing clients and honour all current commitments in Nigeria until March 2019.

  • Careers24 was launched in February 2014 to battle the job market with Jobberman and others but unable to survive in the Nigerian market.

  • […]

    Ishmet Davidson, CEO of Media24, said, “Like any other business, we regularly review our portfolio of print and digital brands, products and services – some flourish, others battle.”

    “Thus the decision to close Careers24 Nigeria, which unfortunately hasn’t managed to gain the expected traction in that market.

Careers24 is owned by the most capitalized company in Africa (Naspers), and could have been kept alive with more injection of capital. But doing that is throwing good money after bad one. Thriving in that sector, globally, has typically correlated with improvement in economic systems. It is not about nice website!

Yes, many job seekers would come to the site, but where are the employers, in Nigeria, to deal with the frictions they expect to be fixed? Unless the site can deliver that, they would give up over time. Simply, the biggest path to success is availability of jobs, and when those are not available, career websites struggle.

Largely, unless you are building rockets or reconfiguring human DNAs, finding people to hire in Nigeria is not extremely hard. The opportunity pyramid narrows rapidly with experienced people being cut-out with no alternatives in a small economy with so many people. Take this comparison: the size of U.S. population to Nigerian population is about a factor of 1.5. But the size of the economy of U.S. to Nigeria is about 36.

So, career websites typically struggle to justify for hiring companies to pay them to find employees which are readily available. And because most of the people looking for jobs do not have capacities to pay the career websites, most run into serious revenue paralyses. And when you add LinkedIn, the aggregator, the roadmap looks challenging.

Think very well before you sojourn into a career website business in Nigeria: Jobberman has picked the best pieces in that space, and LinkedIn has closed the remaining. It would be a struggle for others.


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