By Chinedu Junior Ihekwoaba
Gone are those days when applicants get jobs by registering through different job portals or submitting numerous application letters. Then, it was an open field for everyone to compete for vacant positions. But today, it doesn’t seem to work anymore.
It reminded me of those days in 2016; I applied for 155 positions through different job portals per week, at an average of 20 applications per day. The success rate was approximately two job invites per month and zeroes feedback after the interview process.
I paused a bit and asked myself some unanswerable questions:
- Could it be my résumé is not making it through the system?
- Didn’t I meet the basic job requirements?
- Were the companies really hiring?
- How would my 155 applications not yield a successful result?
I had no clue. Every day, I get spammed by many job-opening emails that say, “we are hiring!”
This made me ask, “who’s sending those emails?”
I spoke with a recruiter I connected with on LinkedIn eight months ago.
She said, “don’t believe some of the job adverts you see on the job portals. Companies post job adverts to fulfill the human labour policy. It’s like a norm. Recruiters actually know who they will hire.”
Her words hurt me.
My interpretation: companies post job adverts to trick governments, perhaps by lying to be contributing to the growth and development of the country through the fake job adverts. But my interpretation was wrong.
Companies are definitely contributing to the growth and development of the country by hiring labour and paying taxes to the government, but the major problem here is that; “Traditional Recruitment is dead.”
Whenever there’s a job opening, recruiters contact people they know or people their family members and friends refer to them. Hence, the candidates applying for jobs through the link provided on the job portal are wasting their precious time if they don’t fall into those categories.
The whole situation becomes ‘a survival of the fittest’. Meaning a candidate must know someone who knows another person in the organization, or a candidate must have a strong personal relationship with recruiters to be sure of getting a job.
This makes the labour market a tough place for graduates to excel because building a personal relationship takes time.
It’s like falling in love with the opposite gender. You have to take some time to date, and study each other before committing to a relationship.
The main problem in this process is, “how many recruiters do job seekers have to know to get a decent job?”
It defeats the purpose of the hard-earned certificate.
If a qualified person cannot get a job without having to go through office policy, then, it makes no sense applying for job adverts seen online.
What’s the way out?
Every problem must have at least a solution.
Here are a few recommendations I’d give to the job seekers:
- Build Interpersonal Relationship: Job seekers should spend more time building a personal relationship with humans and spend less time on job portals. With the advent of technology, it has made it easier to connect with amazing people in different fields, from different parts of the world. LinkedIn still remains a great tool for achieving this goal.
- Attend Networking Events: They should attend more networking events like LinkedIn Local Lagos, LinkedIn Local Abuja and many more networking events. Job seekers should always remember this, people hire people they know and nothing compares to the human touch. Networking events give you the opportunity to meet people, interact with them and keep a fruitful relationship.
- Work with a Career Coach: Getting a job is a job on its own. Job seekers should work with career coaches who can help them map out a strategy for finding jobs and also, they can help job seekers identify what job aligns with their values and skills. Not every job is good for you. Be intentional about it.
- Research about the company you’d love to work: This will help you understand what the company’s culture is all about. Get to know a few people who work in the company, ask them what it takes to work there. There are some companies who do not always display their job adverts to the public, they recruit internally. Therefore, knowing someone who works there is a bonus for you during your job search.
- Get a Referral: These days, recruiters find it easier to hire people through the referral system. Because people find it easier to work with people they know. This is due to the level of trust that exists between them. Don’t just apply for jobs and sit for miracles to happen. Get up and do your homework. Even though you might be qualified on paper, you will still need to work smart.
Although traditional recruitment is dead, but to be candid, most job seekers don’t really know how to position themselves as experts in the labour market. I was once a victim.
A job seeker must learn to position himself as a problem solver and not like someone who needs help. Recruiting has to be a win-win for the parties involved. The first appearance says it all. The easiest way to land jobs these days is to do something that brings you around people.
Do you need help in a job search or improving your sales through social media?
Contact me through my LinkedIn. Good luck in your next career!
I respect the writer in his doggedness towards his overcoming of the unemployment challenge in Nigeria, but I disagree with his assertion in the above article.
Traditional recruitment is not dead. People still get jobs via the traditional means.
And it is not becoming less popular, because even other “novel” approaches towards securing employment have been existential even in the days of our fathers. Recruitment based on referrals is not a new recruitment strategy. And at least for multinationals, they still hire a considerable number of persons through the traditional recruitment process because of their international policies on recruitment.
Why getting hired seem rather surreal sometimes is because of the graduate population. For instance, two of my friends made it into the recent AB-INBEV’S Global Graduate Programme for Africa. Only six were hired from Nigeria, from an applicant pool of over 44,000. It was strictly on merit. The other [qualified] candidates were likely to feel like it was all a sham when regret letters popped into their mails, but that’s because the applicant pool makes the demand from employers seem insignificant.
I have more to say, but perhaps I’ll just put it up in an article, too.