Kenyan job market outlook for 2018

Associated Battery Manufacturers East Africa Limited Staffs at work in at the plant at the industrial area, Nairobi. /FILE
Associated Battery Manufacturers East Africa Limited Staffs at work in at the plant at the industrial area, Nairobi. /FILE
Technology will be a crucial difference maker as many industries become more flexible in the wake of new regulations, competition and consumer demands in 2018.

According to a report in The Economist, automotive, consumer goods and retail, energy, financial services, healthcare, and telecoms industries will significantly adapt to vast technological advancements as client tastes increase pressures on manufacturers.

It is imperative that you remain informed regarding these trends in order to adequately prepare yourself professionally, after a slow 2017.
The last year was generally difficult in the job market due to elections and a plummeting economy, and it is only fair to say that 2018 will not be a replica of 2017.
there are five trends that we are likely to see in 2018 in the Kenyan job market and how you can leverage on new opportunities.
1. Total embracing of the digital world.
The world is surely and rapidly making a complete shift from the traditional way of doing things to embracing the digital market due to technological advancements. For instance, there are softwares that have significantly eased processes such as HR and payroll software solutions. Mobile apps for dieting, taxis, banking and health checks have made work easy for users.
Organizations are training more on how to capitalize digital avenues to make our lives easier.
There will also be an increase in ICT competent employees. Google analytics will help determine company’s position in the cut-throat market.
As we transition into 2018, you will be required to become more adept with digital tools and marketing in order to remain relevant.
2. Increased millennial capacity in the workplace
Millennials are seemingly saturating the job market on a global scale. You have perhaps noticed a bit of culture change in the office structure where a relatively large number of young people are holding managerial among other high level positions. This has been brought about by their energy, technological awareness and vibrancies.
If you are a millennial yourself, 2018 is expected to present you with great opportunities you could leverage on. If you are not a millennial, then 2018 will demand that you keep up with the energy of these young individuals in order to remain relevant.
3. Need for professional accreditation and advanced academic qualifications
If you have been keen, you will notice that there are a number of employers asking for advanced academic qualifications and certifications.
Employers require that professionals should at least have a degree and should also be part of a professional body. PR practitioners are expected to be members of the Public Relations Society Of Kenya (PRSK), HR practitioners are expected to have taken a professional course in HR and be members of the Institute Of Human Resource Management (IHRM), and so are other professions.
Ensure as a professional that you have plans of registering with a professional body and advancing in your academics as well as professional standing.
4. The increasing need for more interpersonal relationships
It is expected that in 2018, most Kenyan companies will encourage healthy professional relationships between employees and clients.
This has mostly been seen through the increased number of employers who are taking team-building activities this month seriously in a bid to re-energize the team for 2018.
According to a recent study done in the United States, moments of conversation between co-workers increased performance by 20%. Another study found that 72 per cent of employees who have a best friend at work are more satisfied with their job.
Therefore expect to be called upon to interact more interpersonally with your fellow employees and clients.
5. Increased information and awareness on work-life balance: Employee burnout is a likely occurrence in most fast-paced organisations.
In 2018, it is expected that employers will seek to retain their employees by ensuring that they have a healthy balance between their work and their families.
Considering that that the recently concluded General Elections placed the country in a go-slow and some

employees were retrenched, employers want to make sure that their remaining staff are not overwhelmed.

There is expected to be increased trainings on work-life balance compared to the ones that have already been held in the year 2018.
Stepping into 2018 empowered.
2018 is expected to produce numerous opportunities for job seekers and professionals. Be sure to make yourself memorable by understanding that times are changing and so should your strategies.
Perminus Wainaina is the CEO & Managing Partner At Corporate Staffing Services Ltd, A HR Consultancy firm based In Westlands, Nairobi.