An average job listing in Africa attracts over 2000 applicants – Report

A standard position attracts over 2000 job seekers in Africa, says a new report highlighting the current state of the jobs market and the challenges facing applicants on the continent.

The report compiled by ROAM Africa (Ringier One Africa Media) analysed 69,511 jobs listings from January 2019 to August 2020 across five African countries including Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.

Among the countries surveyed, Kenya saw the most applications to a job listing. In one application for the role of a receptionist and admin assistant 2,417 applications were submitted. Another listing for call centre agents and team leaders attracted 2,283 applicants. In Ghana, 2,299 people applied for an administrative assistant role while in Tanzania, 2,265 applicants went for the role of sales representative. The highest number of applications for a single role in Nigeria was 2,095 applications for a sales representative role.

Kenya also contributed the highest amount of new job listings in 2019 with 33 percent. Nigeria was second with 31 percent and Uganda took the third position with 17 percent. Nigeria, however, is doing better than the five countries in 2020 with 40 percent of new job listings. Kenya is second place with 28 percent and Uganda is third with 13 percent of the listings.

Clemens Weitz, CEO of ROAM Africa said the high ratio of applications per job listing is an indication of a challenging jobs market for employers and job seekers.

“Both employers and job seekers are struggling to connect with the right opportunities and more needs to be done to address this,” Weitz said. “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.”

Generally, there was a drop in job listings across all job levels during the last twelve months. Nevertheless, roles that require graduate trainees and candidates with no experience have surged in Nigeria, Tanzania and Ghana between the periods of May and July 2020. The researchers say this offers hope for new entrants into the jobs market.

Recruitment agencies have been the most active in the job market as they contributed the most roles, with 16 percent of overall jobs, closely followed by IT and telecoms with 15 percent and advertising media and communciations with 12 percent.

“With th current state of the jobs market, Africans cannot afford to continue with the antiquated recruitment processes that are commonplace in many organisations,” Hilda Kragha, managing director of ROAM Africa’s jobs platforms said.

She also said the market in Africa should prioritise a digital approach to recruitment which brings transparency while connecting people to work opportunities that will improve their livelihood. There is also a need to embrace objectivity in the recruitment process by incorporating innovation that makes it easier to fairly and consistently sort for the best candidates. This ensures that only qualified candidates apply for roles and employers get an accurate picture of jobseekers’ capabilities.

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