The job market today is increasingly becoming a field that has limited opportunities for the high number of graduates who aspire to garner jobs in different corporations. Some men and women have no choice but to toil all over the city in search for jobs. The physical effect that such a quest has on the body can be quite brutal. With the searing heat in the big city of Dar es Salaam, or the dilapidated roads up country, job aspirants are facing a hard time.
However, the upsurge of technology has brought many changes in our lives. One among them is easing the search for possible job vacancies. Instead of door to door search for jobs, or having to read posters and newspapers, now someone in need of a job can log for an application online, and only be required to physically go to the workplace for an interview once his\her application is successful.
But that’s not the only spark that comes with online platform for job applications. One is also able to peruse through the hundreds of job opportunities on offer, and specifically choose one that suits him basing on qualification.
Juma Omary is among many youth hunting for opportunities on websites. After graduating with a Bachelor degree in Business Administration, the one thing he was looking forward to is getting a slot out of the numerous advertised job opportunities.
“There are different recruitment and employment job websites that I used to visit now and then. Sometimes I could send applications online or write job application letters on hard copies through post office mail,” the young graduate says.
After trying many times, Omary finally got a break and managed to secure an interview with a local company. He was successful at the interview and managed to get employment.
“Of recent, many professional human resource managers use email to handle applications, notwithstanding cluttered inbox and inefficient processes,” says Omary.
Nonetheless, many employers note that unsuitable applicants are those who do not meet the criteria specified in the job description.
But the use of online application, the employer centre, allows employers to centrally manage the recruitment process end-to-end: reject, review, shortlist, offer, hire.
Easy to use
Building upon database of jobseeker profiles, easy-to-use online tool makes it faster and easier to post job ads. Then employers can reject, review, shortlist, offer and hire candidates - solving the issue of having to sort through too many applications for open positions.
Human resources manager at Cortex, Dar es Salaam, Ricard Alphonce, said: “Most youth use online platforms that’s why they are encouraged to visit online websites to search for jobs,” he says, adding, “Many youth nowadays use social media to get information so through the use of online job advertisements, many young people will be easily reached.”
The top issue that many employers face is how to effectively manage the number of applications that come in for popular jobs.
However, Alphonce noted that unsuitable applicants often apply for roles but do not meet the criteria specified in the job description so through online application it becomes easier to shortlist candidates who have qualification.
Speaking about the false adverts on websites, Alphonce noted that they (false ads) lower the company’s reputation because people will lose faith and fail to apply next time when genuine adverts are posted.
“Nowadays you will see at the end of an advertisement a statement saying avoid scam, never pay to have your CV/Application pushed forward and any job vacancy requesting payment for any reason is a scam,” Alphonce speaks.
Joshua Naiman, Head of Recruitment and Operation at Empower, while commenting about how the website benefits youth says the website’s focus is to be a vital link between talent and available opportunities in the market, adding that they interact with job seekers and employers to offer support via various channels.
“Job seekers form the larger part of Tanzanian youth, so they have the opportunity to send applications to genuine and vetted employers for entry, mid and executive positions. On average, we post no less than two hundred jobs per month,” says Naiman, adding, “This means, more than two hundred Tanzanians have been matched to the right opportunity via the website.” He notes that as a company, they have made a lot of effort to access those who are Internet enabled.
“This has been possible through various campaigns on radio and TV. Additionally, we receive very good support from different media houses and print companies. We also partner with Facebook through its platform Internet.org, enables mobile users’ access to our website without data,” Naiman says.
Brighter Monday Director, Ms Mili Rughani opines that through online platform, the improved recruitment mode has helped to streamline the hiring process, saving 40 per cent on recruitment time.
A simple solution is the employer centre’s filters. It sorts out candidates by education, years’ experience, current position and other key factors against the candidate’s profile.
“For those who do meet the hiring criteria, its one click to preview or download their CV, before using the employer center’s in-built email functionality to contact candidates to invite them for interviews or send other targeted communication,” she says.
Rughani says while job websites today allow recruiters to reach a larger pool of talent than that available in their personal networks, the process of posting a job ad initially was cumbersome. “It is for this reason, rigorous user-experience testing went into posting processes for the new employer center, where HR professionals can now add, edit, extend and expire job ads with ease, ” says the CEO.
She notes that, the website can control their ads and access detailed performance statistics 24/7 from their employer accounts.
Ms Rughani says since the establishment of their company in the country; a lot has been done to translate the dream of providing practical solutions for the job market into reality.
With the youth in Tanzania facing a hard time when trying to find jobs, a solution was needed to be put forth to help ease the whole job seeking process.
“We sought to become solution providers to the problems Tanzania faced in employment. Before establishing Brighter Monday, we conducted market research and understood the pain points in the job market, and then started creating tailor-made solutions,” Rughani says, adding, “We engage both job seekers and employers through various channels, including social media platforms and offline events like trade fairs, exhibitions and career fairs. Online and in person interactions help us ensure we continue learning and improving our platform for the user.”
Positive reaction from youth
Online job application has been on an increase. For example, a company like Brighter Monday gets up to 6000+ applications in a month during a slow recruitment season.
Rughani says most applications are from youth aged between 24 - 30 years seeking entry level and mid-level jobs as it is estimated that around 9,150 individuals graduate from tertiary institutions as per statistics of 2016.
“Another reason why young applicants dominate the demographics on our site is that this age group is the most tech savvy with easier access to the internet and knowledge of its use. We have another channel of reaching out to executives and top level candidates who rarely visit websites but make use of their networks to move higher in their careers,” she says.
With online job advertisements, there comes a number of drawbacks, among them include fake job advertisement. These often require one to send sensitive information such as bank details, or some directly request for monetary compensation so as to give you assurance of attaining the position you have applied.
Through social media youth have to be careful not to fall victim to fake employment advertisements.
Director of CV people Africa Naike Mushi said according to a research they conducted recently, 75 per cent of the youth apply for jobs online. This age ranges between 20 to 35 years old.
“We advertise different jobs online, such a platform accords equal opportunity to all to be able to submit their CVs and upon completion of the vetting process, those who are lucky to get shortlisted progress to the next stage in their journey to getting employment,” she says.
Online job application is convenient for prompt response. Unlike other forms of job application where often time individuals do not get feedback from the prospective employers, with online job application feedback is swift.
Talking about the challenges they have face in the online job application business, Mushi says people at times choose jobs whose criteria for selection is beyond their qualification. “Those who apply for jobs online need to be very careful when logging in their applications. Make sure that you meet all necessary qualifications,” she advises.
Mushi further elaborated that out of 100 applications, you will find that only 15 meet the right qualifications.
Through this challenge, Mushi said those looking for jobs online need to be educated on different requisites which must be met for one to even be considered for the job.
Rughani says most job seekers have very little knowledge about job search etiquette and what is expected of them by employers, adding that, some tend to have one CV for all jobs while others do not know how to optimise their resume.
“We offer assistance by publishing tips and advice on CV writing, interviews, career growth as well as workplace issues,” she says.
Rughani repudiates the claims that some websites advertise jobs whose shortlisted applicants have already been identified by the companies so; job seekers find the advert to have been put in the web as a formality.
“We have legitimate employers with a genuine need to fill positions within their companies. However, the competition for existing positions by qualified candidates is tough so each position inevitably results in many unsuccessful candidates,” she says adding, “To help solve this issue, we have included SMEs (Small Medium Enterprises) onsite as they comprise of almost 70% of Tanzania’s labour market to increase the number of jobs on our site and help more candidates.”
When asked on how the process of applying for jobs is unnecessarily time consuming, the CEO says they believe every process is necessary.
“As job seekers search and apply for jobs online, the information they provide helps build a professional online profile for them that employers can quickly glance at and make a hiring decision,” she clarifies and further adds; “Being employers, we need to ensure that they are legitimate and genuine so we ask for all the necessary information. This is to protect job seekers from scammers.”
Advice to job seekers
Khalfan Lugendo, a marketing manager in Dar es Salaam calls upon job seekers to be ready for relocation to any country provided they have skills and capabilities required.
“With the East African Common Market in mind, it is an opportune time for higher learning institutions to design courses and programmes that are valuable in the international labour market. Job seekers should equally prepare themselves to be open to international opportunities and learning experiences,” he says.
Clarifying on how employers perceive the role of online job advertising websites, he says: “Online platforms are one stop centre for all recruitment needs. Since most, like Brighter Monday, don’t believe in “one size fits all” approach, services are tailor made based on the employer’s needs.”
The projected growth of internet penetration in Tanzania means that there will be a higher number of people seeking for job opportunities online. This provides a great avenue for websites to march with the increasing demand.