• Saturday, April 13, 2024
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The Dating 101 Guide to Recruitment


Someone I know, recently had his heart crushed. He needed someone to enrich and improve a part of his life. For months he pursued her. She turned him down. He offered to give her twice as much of the things she wanted.  She turned him down again. He couldn’t figure out why. She said it was because she was with someone, someone she was devoted to. She wanted to stay and make it work.

The person who suffered this heartbreak was a client of WAVE’s, and when he came to us with his tale of woe about being rejected by someone he was trying to recruit, we couldn’t help but think how familiar it all sounded. Needing a manager for a new business unit you had formed in your organisation… Reaching out to them and making an offer… Being rejected… Believing if you sweetened the deal the candidate would capitulate…Offering a higher salary only to be rejected again… Being told by the candidate you so desperately wanted to employ, that they were happy with the company they were with… They wanted to help build it..They were grateful for your interest but didn’t want to move…Being heartbroken because the position in your company remains unfilled…Wondering what you did wrong and if you will ever find the right person.

The story I just told, accurately describes my client’s unfortunate foray into recruitment.  Yet, it is no accident that my first account of events is also a spot-on description of his experience. Sometimes the process of finding the right people for your team can feel like the plot of a sad romance novel.

Ships Passing in the Night

Nigeria has a human capital problem. There is a serious disconnect between the skills our youth acquire in educational institutions and the skills our businesses require to run efficiently. What this broken connection results in is a limited pool of capable talent. Finding the right people to increase your organisation’s productivity and profits can be challenging. At the end of the day, a job seeker and a prospective employer are just two strangers trying to make a connection. Much in the same way you can meander in the dating world, failing time and time again to find the perfect match, you can stumble in the recruiting process, struggling year after year to find the right people and keep them on board.

Heartbreak Hotel

Many, if not most, Nigerian employers are familiar with disappointment. Some of them discover their perfect candidate only for their efforts to be thwarted by the commitment, loyalty, integrity and initiative that attracted them to said candidate in the first place. Other employers swim through an ocean of potential without finding that one good fit, and wash up on shore fatigued and filled with disillusionment. The majority make what they believe to be the right hire, only to discover that it was a mirage. Many employers can’t understand why their turnover is so high, despite all of the benefits they believe they provide to their employees.

They look at their insufficient or inadequate staff and wonder:

Could things have worked out differently?

Where did we go wrong?

Is it them?

Is it us?

Is there any hope at all?

Finding ‘the One’

Both the recruitment process and the dating world require time and effort that can engender deep despair and real frustration. WAVE’s experiences in recruitment, both within our own organisation and with the businesses of our clients, has given us insight into how to become a more effective recruiter and employer. A firm understanding of the principles and processes that govern making a good hire, will improve your odds of success. An informed implementation of these principles might even give you a chance at a match made in heaven.

About the Series

The Dating 101 Guide to Recruitment series is designed to help you streamline (or completely overhaul) your recruitment policies and processes. We’ll do a deep dive into the key decisions, tools, and actions that every employer needs to begin making great additions to their team.

We’ll cover 10 main topics, each in its own instalment:

  1. The Big Picture

What’s the point of it all? Is all this even worth it?

  1. The Soul-searching

What do we want this person for? Why are we even looking?

  1. Setting the Standards

How can this person give us what we need? Will they be able to make us happy?

  1. Self-reflection

Who are we? What do we stand for? What do we have to offer?

  1. What Makes Us Special?

How are we different? Why should we be the chosen ones?

  1. Putting Ourselves Out There

How do we make the people we want see our specialness?

  1. Making a Match

How will we decide who we want? What if it isn’t meant to be?

  1. Making It Work

How will we live together? How will we maintain peace and harmony?

  1. Making It Stick

How do we keep the music playing? How do we make it last?   

  1. Going the Distance

Shall we grow old together? Were we made for each other?

Our hope is that by tackling, from the perspective of dating, the ins and outs of successfully staffing your company/organisation, WAVE can simplify the seemingly complex process of securing the right candidate and building a great team.


The guide was written by  Misan Rewane, co-founder of WAVE, an organization focused on levelling the playing field for young Africans to access economic opportunity.  By turning motivated young talent into reliable human capital for local businesses, WAVE inspires positive change in employer attitudes, creating a fairer, more inclusive and more productive labour market. 
Misan holds an Economics degree from Stanford University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.