A Day in a Namibian Job Seeker’s Life

Lisa Matomola

Hello jobfinders and hiring managers, it is a great honour to share with you insights regarding job searching again. Over the past few weeks, I had the privilege of engaging with job seekers during the job searching techniques workshops I facilitated online, in sessions where we discussed job seekers’ challenges. A day in the life of a Namibian job seeker is not easy. Although we encourage job seekers to apply for jobs, there are still companies that make the process very challenging.

JOB APPLICATION

When asked what the challenges pertaining to job applications are, job seekers highlighted that some companies do not clarify job requirements in detail.

Some vacancy adverts are vague and often miss critical information to help a job applicant. Job requirements are at times not clear and applicants find it hard to match their experience to the job.

The new trend of sending videos as a way for recruiters to screen applicants may be viewed as some sort of bias and an exclusion criterion. Not all applicants have smartphones, thus this is disadvantageous, even when they may meet the job requirements.

INTERVIEW INVITATION PROCESSES

A common challenge many job seekers face is that of short notice interview invitations. Other companies do not call candidates at all and only send emails. Unemployed applicants, especially, struggle with data and may not always have access to the internet, thus may miss out on job interviews or at times even realise at the very last minute, which may cause panic and that affects how they perform.

There are companies that continuously cancel interviews without clear reasons and at times at the last minute, even when a candidate has travelled and incurred costs.

There is also a concern about how certain jobs are advertised, but on the day of the interview, the title changes and candidates are only informed about the changes in the interview room. Most candidates prepare for the interview based on the advertised role, therefore, a change in the job content has an impact on the interview performance and how they will sell themselves.

If possible, recruiters should be in a position to share job descriptions for candidates to understand the scope of work.

PANEL MEMBERS COMPOSITION

I asked some job seekers how many panel members sat in their interviews previously. They ranged from six to 15 panel members. When a candidate has not been to a job interview before, the number of panel members is likely to affect one’s self-esteem and confidence.

A large panel is likely to “bully” the candidate by asking too many questions, which may not be related to the job and in a way that may frustrate the candidate.

Furthermore, those I spoke to mentioned that while being interviewed, there are panel members who do not give them their attention. When answering questions, they are either on their phone or chatting to other panel members, showing a lack of interest in the candidate. Some panel members lack professionalism and intimidate the candidates they are interviewing. Job seekers indicated concern on whether or not panel members rate them objectively, especially in an event where they seem disengaged.

APPEAL TO RECRUITERS

Job searching is a collaborative process between applicants and prospective employers. Thus, it requires commitment from both parties to make the journey less stressful and frustrating. Job seekers come with their own challenges that recruiters too share. Nonetheless, for companies hiring candidates, I recommend that the experience should be as easy as possible. Empathy is a skill each recruiter should have.

When advertising vacancies, ensure that the job adverts are as clear as possible to avoid job seekers missing out on opportunities. In addition, when a job changes, it is important to share the changes that may have occurred in order for the candidate to familiarise themselves with the new role.

  • Lisa Matomola is a managing consultant, career and job finder coach.

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