Dear Recruiter,

I don’t know if anyone really enjoys job-hunting. I mean sometimes one may enjoy browsing through the finished product of a CV, or actually enjoy job interviews – walking into a new organisation and trying to picture oneself in that environment.

People may also enjoy getting the occasional email from a recruiter on LinkedIn, asking for interest in a role. Don’t be a killjoy – we know that such emails are probably automated and sent to a million other recipients. But the point to note is that many only often enjoy these things when they have an existing job.  When they are pretty secure and not wondering where the next meal or rent will come from. When they have the bargaining power or a negotiating tool, so to speak.

For someone who is unemployed and looking to land a job in order to survive, or looking to make a necessary job-switch, it is often not an enjoyable process. And it is only fair that this process is made as easy as possible for such hunters. It’s baffling some of the things that operate (or do not operate) in the recruitment sector. Let’s just list a few, shall we?:

1.  Age Discrimination

If you choose to not respond to any of the other items I list, could you please respond to this. Why do you choose to discriminate a pool of candidates on the basis of age? This cuts across recruiters even in top organisations! I’ve spoken to a lot of people on this and no one seems to have a plausible answer.

Many of your job ads tend to read “No more than  X years of age by December 2016”. I pray thee tell: If someone is born on the 31 of December 1988 and another on the 1st of January 1989.  That could automatically disqualify the latter person if your age limit is 28?  That clear analysis is nevertheless far fetched.  Why do you pick a certain age? What factors do you consider?  Why do you think someone who is 25 is a better candidate than someone who is 35? What if someone is willing to change careers and happy to start at the entry level? I know of someone who after almost 12 years in a different industry entirely, decided to switch to law – obviously happy to start at the bottom of the ladder, as a graduate trainee, despite being almost 40 years old. This was in the UK. 

With your requirements, this may not have been possible in Nigeria,  Do you also consider the many strikes in Nigerian Universities that often mean people graduate later than they should? Why do you place so much emphasis on age? Do you underestimate the varied experience older people could bring to the table? Do you think it’s an issue of older people not submitting to bosses who may be younger than them?

2. Other Kinds of Discrimination

I’ve lumped this together. It’s definitely in the minority, but some employers are still guilty.  You may have seen something like this. “If you are a graduate (schooled abroad or in the UK) with foreign experience and need a job send an email to X”. Aha, I’m sure even you are surprised by that. Schooled abroad?  Really? So many questions. Coming from Nigeria, what qualifies as abroad. Ghana? Togo? the US? Malaysia? Does it matter what Uni I went to at all, or so far as it was outside the shores of Nigeria? Are we implicitly saying our Nigerian universities are below par?

Then there’s gender discrimination. You may argue that this is sometimes a tricky one, and I may be inclined to agree, based on how well you articulate your points. But, even if you think some roles are better suited to a particular gender, putting it out there in black and white is a NO! The most popular one has to be “Female receptionist needed for… “. One more ridiculous bit – skin colour!  “Light-skinned lady needed for employment at… “. It’s bad enough you choose to discriminate on gender, you now had to add skin colour. C’mon!

3. Little or No Information on Available Roles:

I don’t know how you secured your current role as a recruiter. But many people have testified that opportunities in Nigeria are often not publicised. Trying to find the roles to apply for is arguably much more draining than drafting the application itself.

It has become a game of “Who knows who”. Of connecting with people on LinkedIn, and hoping they’d respond to your request of “Just wondering if your company is recruiting and if I can send my CV”. I’m not knocking down the importance of networking, but that should not be the initial step. Available roles should be publicised! I know you sometimes battle with the huge number of people that could potentially apply. But choosing to get around that by not putting the information out there is not, in my opinion, the better way.

Again, if you’d rather not have the name of your organisation out there in public, then engage recruiting companies who should willingly do this for you, and could possibly assist in shortlisting candidates. Some amazing candidates really have nowhere else turn to, but to search for these jobs on public media. Please make it available.

4. Ridiculous Interview Requirements

I know, I know. You’re trying to sift the wheat from the chaff. You’re trying to set a standard to show how thorough you are and how much you value thinking out of the box. But you may have missed a beat here, as some of your processes are simply out of this world! And no, that’s not a compliment.  

I’ve heard some ridiculous requirements.  Few months ago,  I almost went crazy trying to find the jersey the Nigerian football team wore to the Atlanta 96 Olympic games. Because a recruiter had asked potential candidates to find this. How do you, ask someone who is job hunting to spend $99 on a piece of clothing, in an attempt to show that they go the extra mile? For weeks, I was stuck to an online thread as these candidates, had to figure out a way round this situation – which still involved spending money to buy a locally made replica jersey. 

I’ve also heard that a company once asked candidates to present the now extinct 1 Naira note. Goodness, gracious.  I’m all for thinking out of the box. But we’ll have to draw the line at some point. I recall not following up with an interview, because the next step seemed outrageous to me. Unfortunately, I can’t remember what it was at that time.  Interviews are not exactly an opportunity to exploit and humiliate applicants. It might be worthwhile to reconsider what your processes are like and scrap or tweak as necessary.

5. Not Getting Back to Candidates

Right after one has swum through the proverbial seven seas and seven oceans, or maybe (luckily for the person) after just an initial test, it’s heartbreaking to not hear from you any longer. I know some of you say from the outset that “Only short-listed candidates will be contacted”. But in many cases, you don’t exactly leave a time frame. So we stay waiting… fingers crossed and hopeful.

Until we realise that six months of silence probably means we didn’t make it through. Or until we hear that our next door neighbour, who was also present at the interview has secured the job. Some feedback or closure will be nice, and at the earliest opportunity as well. It shouldn’t be too hard to send these.

That’s pretty much some of the concerns I have at this time.  I’m sorry if I come across a bit antsy. I just think we all need to try to lessen the burden on people who are job searching. Particularly in these times of economic recession, and way too many redundancies.

Best,

Kachi (for and on behalf of a wider group of people)


Now, your turn guys. Do you think these are issues? Am I making up a storm in a teacup? What’s your experience? If you’re a recruiter/employer (or if you have answers to the above), please share.


19 COMMENTS

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19 Comments

  1. Yummy Mum Life

    September 26, 2016 at 00:45

    They are very good at frustrating people.The one that really pisses me off is when they ‘hide’ under another company name and then turn out to be into this networking thing.It’s happened to so many people.My advice is if you use public job search platforms always enter the company name into Nairaland.com.Many times you will find out if it will be worth your while.www.CheecheeLIVE.com

    Reply
    • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

      September 27, 2016 at 10:09

      I agree. Naira land is so useful when job hunting in Nigeria!

      Reply
  2. DamiLoves

    September 26, 2016 at 14:52

    Ah.. The recruitment process in Nigeria is certainly exasperating at best. A friend’s sister was refused work repeatedly because she was a newlywed. “Apparently” all her prospective employers were concerned she would soon be needing maternity leave, so they kept refusing her.Sons of the Sun

    Reply
    • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

      September 27, 2016 at 17:36

      It’s so so sad that people do this. This one isn’t even limited to Nigeria. It happens in a lot of places as well.

      Reply
  3. Praise Abu

    September 26, 2016 at 15:36

    These are all issues and no you are not making up a storm in a tea cup. I’ll really like to stress on this age thing which is a huge problem here in Nigeria. I attended a seminar once and I listened to how top HR practitioners made the age factor a huge issue when recruiting and how they turn down people above 25 that show up for interviews. It is a travesty that older people who may be more qualified and more experienced are denied opportunities to prove themselves. Another thing I hate is having to await feedback. It is so ironic that these recruiters preach about implementing effective HR policies which they never actually practice. Stereotyping is a recruitment problem that seriously need to be tackled.My Style Look Book Series

    Reply
  4. Dleona Oluchi

    September 26, 2016 at 15:58

    I have had this discussions with friends an still get my head around. I have a job offer with no specific role, I don’t know what the salary actually is or any other thing but I have signed so much documents that at this point I am even tired and don’t know if it is worth it at this point based on a ‘dem say’ salary. Lemme just stop lamenting, I need the job or I think I do.Lemme go and calm down, let this vexation passwww.dleonalife.blogspot.com

    Reply
    • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

      September 27, 2016 at 17:35

      Oh wow!!This doesn’t sound good.You should have received a specific role and a detailed contract listing out all of the details. I really hope they’re not being shady and it works out.

      Reply
  5. Zinny

    September 26, 2016 at 18:15

    Hey Kachee, nice post as always!I often think of this topic. I haven’t taken time out to patiently study Nigerian employment laws but I am sure that if the age discrimination was expressly prohibited there wouldn’t be open discrimination. I just don’t understand what age has to do with a job especially at an entry level position. In this age and time? And to think that all of these issues have to be stated in a person’s resume!Another thing that baffles me is why a person’s state of origin has to be typed out in the resume. It’s all open discrimination and tribalism and that won’t take anyone forward. (I know some people may argue diversity, but there are better ways to approach this). It’s sad but maybe if the laws are updated there may be some improvement with thorough enforcement. People should also be educated, like really!! Some organizations are showing good example in the country I think.www.zinnyfactor.com

    Reply
  6. Oluwatoceen!

    September 27, 2016 at 11:23

    God help us!! You hear stuffs like only single ladies should apply or if you are married, you shouldn’t get pregnant after one or two years after you have been picked for the job. Sigh

    Reply
    • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

      September 27, 2016 at 11:28

      I even forgot all the married and pregnant women doscrimation. So so tiring!

      Reply
  7. Mz Charidee

    September 27, 2016 at 17:15

    Recruiters in Nigeria are just unreasonable, the age thing is one, like how can you state ‘not more than 24years of age’ as an entry level requirement in Nigeria being fully aware of the educational structure in Nigeria. Im just guessing thats a way to reduce the number of applicants. Then the way they treat graduates that attend the interviews ehn, some will keep you for hours with no apology or remorse. Anyways, too many available unemployed graduates that’s why.

    Reply
  8. Dami

    September 28, 2016 at 19:43

    This post hit the nail on the head Kachee, as I’m hitting the nail on the head right after NYSC next year. I love this. Keep on Girl…6 Styling Secrets For An Evening Party Outfit 

    Reply
    • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

      September 28, 2016 at 21:10

      Thanks Dami! All the best with post Nysc and all!

      Reply
  9. akaglue

    September 29, 2016 at 05:11

    Am with you on number 5, recruiters pls get back to candidates. With that one can know what areas to improve on.www.akaglue.com

    Reply
    • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

      September 29, 2016 at 08:22

      Lots of people agree with number 5. I hope they improve!

      Reply
  10. Bubu Green

    September 29, 2016 at 21:20

    Antsy??? Girl, You are spot on! It’s crazy. I got almost emotional reading this. I’ve been a victim of most of your points. Some dream jobs I’m super qualified for have been missed because of age limit and discrimination, in their word-“specification”. Apparently, getting married and having children has become a bad thing. Anuofia! Yes, I didn’t qualify in one ‘cos I was “married with kids”.www.bubusboulevard.com

    Reply
    • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

      September 29, 2016 at 21:23

      Sigh! I’m so sorry Bubu! There’s no rationale for an age limit. Or for discriminating against those that are married. It’s ridiculous!

      Reply
  11. Amakamedia

    October 2, 2016 at 16:18

    Hahahahaha . . . I dunno why I find this post funny. Lemme find out. BRB. . .

    Reply
    • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

      October 2, 2016 at 21:24

      Waiting Maks! I’ll love to hear your thoughts!

      Reply

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