2,400 candidates apply for one job as competition stiffens - report

In Summary

• ROAM Africa’s data sheds more light on the challenges facing both job seekers and employers in the African jobs market.

• The standard job listing that attracted 2,417 applications was for a Receptionist/Admin Assistant in Kenya while another listing for call center agents and team leaders attracted 2,283 applicants.

People in search of jobs.
UNEMPLOYMENT People in search of jobs.
Image: REUTERS

More than 2,400 candidates apply for one role as competition for jobs in Africa stiffens, a report shows.

Data from jobs platforms across Africa reveals that 14 job listings attracted more than 2,000 applications each.

Ringier One Africa Media (ROAM), the leading digital classifieds group in Sub-Saharan Africa, has today released figures that highlight the current state of the jobs market in Africa, with one standard role attracting 2,417 applications.

Analyzing 69,511 jobs listings from January 2019 to August 2020 across five African countries (Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda), ROAM Africa’s data sheds more light on the challenges facing both job seekers and employers in the African jobs market.

In a statement released on Wednesday, ROAM states that the standard job listing that attracted 2,417 applications was for a Receptionist/Admin Assistant in Kenya while another listing for call center agents and team leaders attracted 2,283 applicants.

"Similar 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," the statement read.

According to ROAM Africa’s data, Kenya contributed the highest amount of new job listings in 2019 with 33%. Nigeria was in second place with 31% and Uganda was in third place with 17%.

However, so far in 2020, Nigeria is leading the way with 40% of new job listings, with Kenya in second place with 28% and Uganda in third place with 13%.

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% of overall jobs, closely followed by IT and Telecoms with 15% and Advertising media and communications with 12%," the statement further read.

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.

“The high ratio of applications per job listing really highlights how challenging the jobs market is for employers and job seekers," Clemens Weitz, CEO of ROAM Africa said.

He added, "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.”

Weitz also stated that, “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.”

According to Hilda Kragha, Managing Director of ROAM Africa’s Jobs platforms, “With the current state of the jobs market, Africans cannot afford to continue with the antiquated recruitment processes that are commonplace in many organisations.

She added that, "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."

She also emphasized that 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," she said.

Hilda further stated that the data highlights both the challenge and opportunity that come with the African jobs market.

"We must address the challenge of rampant unemployment but also embrace the opportunity to transform how recruitment is done. By doing this, we will not only be addressing the current problems but also future-proofing our businesses and organisations for generations to come," Hilda said.