When you fail job interviews, don’t blame recruiters. Look into the mirror. Often times, job seekers are always blaming recruiters for their own nemesis. They blame recruiters for being mean. But the truth is, are recruiters responsible for the job seekers’ woes?
I had the pleasure of interviewing a recruiter, Adora. She shared her insight on this matter. Every job seeker should read this:
Can we get to know you better, Adora?
I am Adora Ikwuemesi, I speak, I write and I advise on Human Resources and Careers. I am also a serial problem solver, a wife to the world’s best husband and a mum to 2 angels.
It’s really good to have you in this edition as you are one of the most respected professionals that I always learn from on LinkedIn. With your experience in the hiring department, what can you say about the job seekers you’ve come across?
I will categorise job seekers into 3 groups. We have those who know and know that they know, I will call them Group A.
Then we have those who don’t know but don’t know that they don’t know, let’s call them Group B.
Then lastly, we have those who don’t know and know that they don’t know, let’s call them Group C.
Group A are not in the job market for long, in no time they have several offers, they are skilled and experienced, even as fresh graduates they stand out amongst their peers.
The majority however, are in Group B and C. Group B represents many experienced people who have a skills gap that they are not fully aware of and is making their job search difficult and their market value low.
Group C represents the many fresh and inexperienced graduates, who are hoping to get their foot in the door, they are willing, they are not yet able, they seek an opportunity but they also have skills and experience gap which they are not able to close at the rate at which the market demands.
Group B and C have a hard time finding a job and earning well.
Do you think the recruiting system is the problem or the graduates are just unemployable?
I believe both because if you have determined a problem in a system which in this case is the inability to find the kind of people with the type of skills we need them, the onus is on those recruiting to seek or develop solutions that alleviate the concerns.
The problem won’t go away so we need to devise more effective ways of recruiting. The educational system also has a big role to play. The skill sets taught at secondary and university levels should better prepare graduates for the world of work.
Being someone who has worked in the recruitment and selection department, what are the qualities you look for in candidates?
Even though I am still learning recruitment every day, there is no one secret sauce.
We just have options that may improve our outcomes. More and more it’s obvious that attitude and soft skills beat technical skills any day. This is particularly the case in a market where there’s a huge skills gap and we need to therefore seek aptitude when we can’t find skills.
I would say, seek people who can learn quickly, people with passion, compassion and a problem solving mindset. Passion will always strive and put in the hard work, compassion will mean you hire people with a good heart that can have genuine empathy and care and I would choose problem-solving skills as this would mean that you have a person who is constantly creating solutions and innovating to get better and better.
You are the author of the book – ”Change Your Career”, what actually inspired you to write that book?
Two things inspired me to write the book, Change Your Career:
The first is I get a lot of requests online and offline from people asking me how to make a career change or how to even start their career.
Secondly, I have changed careers 5 times, I feel I am in a good position to help others do the same. I saw the book as a solution to a problem a lot of people have at one point or the other in their career life and I love helping people so I felt this was a more effective way of sharing that knowledge to the people who needed it.
There are so many employees out there who are only working for the paycheck, meaning, most of them are in the wrong career. In a country like Nigeria where the standard of living is tough, what would you advise such people to do?
Honestly, there is a time in most people’s career where they will find themselves in this situation and it’s a valid decision to work for a paycheck.
The only concern is for how long?
True happiness is found in working with purpose, working for something bigger than ourselves. At some point, we all have to sit down with ourselves and decide to live a life that matters and truly fulfills us.
That meaningful life is gotten from having a meaningful career that serves a higher purpose while also paying the bills.
I stumbled on your post about the ”7th HR Bootcamp Conference”, can you share more information about the conference and means of registration?
The HR Bootcamp Conference was a platform I founded in 2009, it’s purpose is to foster innovative and positive shifts for people management practices. It was my very first impactful entrepreneurial attempt. Funny enough I started it when I was unemployed and today 10 years later it is a renowned gathering of HR Professionals.
All registration is online , the 8th one is scheduled December 2020.
What advice do you have for fresh graduates and employees, and what would you say to anyone looking to transition into another role?
Focus on skills required for the desired role. Remember that these skills aren’t all technical, some are behavioural e.g. problem solving, planning, leadership skills.
Your goal is to close the skills gap between where you are now and where you want to go. Determine the best way to close those skills gaps, the exact training or learning methods required.
Once you know that, set a timeline to execute and follow through.
To the audience reading this interview, where can you be contacted?
My website or via my Facebook Group – HR Nigeria.
What should we expect from you in the next five years?
- Expect me to change my career!
- Expect to see me do more purposeful work, enhancing workplace and career lives.
- Expect me to speak more.
- Expect me to have written some new books.
- Expect me to be delivering happiness in my own way.
Thank you, Adora, for your time. I wish you a successful conference.
Thank you, Chinedu, for the opportunity to share my thoughts. It’s been a refreshing interview with great questions.