So there he is overwhelmed by the enormity of what it takes to survive in today’s Nigeria. He’s young, just thirty years old, done with service year four years ago, was job seeking for over a year before he eventually landed one – a store keeper in a chemical company. Very hard to reconcile what a brilliant top of the class graduate of economics is doing keeping stock of chemical components in a Chinese company in a remote part of Ogun state and paid just 30,000 monthly buy hey, he’s got to survive. He dare not go back home to his parents for any form of assistance. It took all they could draw on to ensure he graduated from the university in Lagos and there are three younger siblings at home being put through university education by his struggling parents, so where is the guts to call home and asked for any form of financial help from his parents. In fact they are waiting for him to start assisting his younger ones in little ways possible.
For 2 years he suffered really hard, endured very tough times, had to sometimes live off friends and colleagues to make it till month end, he shared a room with 3 other colleagues – having just enough space to lay his head to sleep. But this invitation for a job interview in this well-established consulting firm is a breakthrough that can turn his fortune around big time. The company is very big, popular; successful and they pay very well.
As he was on his way to this job interview that morning, he had only one thing on his mind – landing the job so as to change his living condition. Tired of hunger, tired of being broke, tired of counting kobos and always borrowing to stay alive. He can’t wait to start sending money home to assist his parents, at 30, he should have his own apartment, be able to cloth himself well and be thinking of getting married. His priority motive for gunning this employment is more money; enough money.
On the other hand; is the owner of the reputable consulting firm in his mid-fifties. He’s worked very hard for over 20 years to build the consulting business. He’s made a lot of money and lost a lot of money. At 55 he’s weaker and getting tired, he can’t run around chasing clients like he used to, hence he’s in dire need of passionate, intelligent, committed employees who would love the business and be able to add great value to the consulting firm. He put out adverts for vacancy and he’s looking for that employee that will prioritize the growth and progress of the business over personal gains and personal benefits.
The owner of the consulting firm is tired of this generation of greedy young job seekers who practically have nothing to offer but wants to earn very large sums. The young job seeker is tired of employers who want to use you like no man’s business; take all your time, energy and brain and pay you peanuts. The employer is looking for employees that would solve their business problems, the employee on the other hand is looking for that employer that would pay enough to solve their socio economic problems.
The job seeker thinks the employer is selfish and inconsiderate, the employer thinks the job seeker is greedy and wants so much for nothing. How do we reconcile these varying perspectives in employment?
Ladies and gentlemen, the era of recruiting people based on qualifications, certifications and appearance is over. We can no longer afford to be extremely formal in recruitment. The pain, frustration, needs and ambition of a job seeker must be a part of the interview and negotiation process. Managerial psychology has a role to play when recruiting any prospect.
As a consequence of our socioeconomic crisis in Nigeria today, people have issues; big problems and they need solutions by all means. Their basic needs have come under threat and they have to survive.
For you to find the best of employees that will be committed, passionate and interested in the growth of your business, you must be interested in their personal lives, their fears, struggles, challenges and desires. You must show that you care and you must sincerely care. The era of using people is over, if you keep on this way, you’ll destroy your business as an entrepreneur.
For the job seeker as well, you must realize you can’t get everything for nothing. You can’t have a sense of entitlement without a sense of responsibility. A salary is not a right, it is a reward for work done. The best way to come into that income level that will sufficiently pay your bills and make you comfortable, you must add good value to where you work.
Eye service won’t work, spending all working hours to gist and chat on social media won’t help you, criticizing and cursing the government won’t grow your bank balance. And judging your employer as selfish and greedy won’t help you. If you want a good salary, add good value, be interested in the growth of the business; apply yourself. Looking for a loop hole to steal from your employer will only get you fired eventually and mess up your good name.
As an applicant, please do not ignore the purpose of the employment, which is to serve and fill a gap profitably for your employer, and as an employer, please do not ignore the personal needs, challenges and problems of your employees, they deserve a good life. Let’s balance the interest, let’s balance the reward; let’s align the purpose of employment.