By Juliet Umeh
As competition for jobs stiffens and unemployment bites harder in Africa, a recent statistics from a digital classifieds group, Ringier One Africa Media, ROAM Africa, has revealed that one standard role attracts about 2,417 applications.
Analysing 69,511 jobs listings from January 2019 to August 2020 across five African countries, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, ROAM Africa’s data threw more light on the challenges facing both job seekers and employers in the African jobs market.
According to the platform, the standard job listing that attracted 2,417 applications was for a Receptionist/Admin Assistant in Kenya while another listing for call centre agents and team leaders attracted 2,283 applicants.
This is observed also for other markets: In Ghana, 2,299 people applied for an Administrative Assistant role and 2,265 people in Tanzania applied for a Sales Representative role. In Nigeria, the highest number of applications for a single role was 2,095 and it was for a Sales Representative role.
ROAM Africa’s data also noted that Kenya contributed the highest amount of new job listings in 2019 with 33 percent. Nigeria was in second place with 31 percentand Uganda was in third place with 17 percent. However, so far in 2020, Nigeria is leading the way with 40percent of new job listings, with Kenya in second place with 28 percent and Uganda in third place with 13 percent.
A closer look at ROAM Africa’s data reveals that, apart from Nigeria, there was a drop in overall job listings across all job levels during the last months. However, there was an increase in graduate trainee and ‘no experience’ roles in Nigeria, Tanzania and Ghana from May to July 2020, which offers some hope for new entrants into the jobs market. Interestingly, recruitment agencies contributed the most roles, with 16 percent of overall jobs, closely followed by IT and Telecoms with 15 percent and Advertising media and communications with 12 percent.
Some candidates have also reported applying for more than 20 jobs a day for multiple months and only getting to the interview stage on a handful of occasions. This is why ROAM Africa’s jobs platforms Jobberman (Ghana and Nigeria) and BrighterMonday (Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania) are focused on matching technology.
The company’s technology helps employers to identify and score the right candidates faster. Suitable candidates are made visible to prospective employers, and helped across the finish line by providing data driven career development tools and training programmes. Job seekers using the platforms can expect to improve their CV, gain interview tips and sign-up for online training courses designed to bridge the gap between education and employment.
Commenting on the data, CEO of ROAM Africa, Clemens Weitz, said: “The high ratio of applications per job listing really highlights how challenging the jobs market is for employers and job seekers. Both employers and job seekers are struggling to connect with the right opportunities and more needs to be done to address this. “Employers must rethink their hiring strategies and clearly define what they are looking for, based on data and insights.
Job seekers must also invest in personal development that will make it easier for them to stand out in such a crowded and competitive market.”
He added: “We believe that Africa’s greatest asset is its people and their entrepreneurial spirit. With the expected growth in the continent’s population, we must begin to put structures in place that will make it easier for African businesses to make the most of this resource.”
Also speaking, the Managing Director of ROAM Africa’s Jobs platforms, Hilda Kragha, said: “With the current state of the jobs market, Africans cannot afford to continue with the antiquated recruitment processes that are commonplace in many organisations. We must prioritise a digital approach to recruitment, which brings transparency to Africa’s labour market while connecting people to work opportunities that will improve their livelihood.
“We must also embrace objectivity in the recruitment process by incorporating innovation that makes it easier to fairly and consistently sort for the best candidates.
This will ensure that only qualified candidates are applying for roles and employers get an accurate picture of jobseekers’ capabilities. A win-win for both job seekers and employers,” he added.