There are certain vital behaviors and gestures most employers of labor in Nigeria should take into consideration. These are not particularly factors that should be put out by the owners of these private companies and managers of the public companies out there alone. The human resource managers, the welfare managers, and the secretaries seemed not to be performing their roles very well in these aspects that I will be identifying in this content.
One general negative attitude about Nigerians is that we know how to imitate people from the other side of the world but then, we don’t know how to apply their cutesy.
Zero feedback after an interview
This has been accepted as a normal attitude by both Nigerian employers and job applicants. It is unfortunate that we live in a society where no one talks about individuals’ rights as we are constantly jumping on the bandwagon.
One of the unwelcome attitudes of Nigerian employers is their uncaring habit of not reaching back to the applicants at the end of interviews. It’s really sad that you would instruct your secretaries to invite applicants over for an interview via emails or text messages. At the end of the interview, you would promise to get back to them. ”Okay, you will hear from us shortly”. That’s the regular expression. Good and fine! The applicants go home and would be waiting patiently for your feedback. Unfortunately, your human resource managers would never bother to instruct your secretaries to write the applicants who weren’t successful in the interview exercise two lines of simple sentences to say, ”thank you for participating in our recent interview. Sorry, you did not make it”. These two lines of simple sentences should even be in the database for your secretary. It’s part of their role to pass circulars or mails across to both the internal and external members and visitors of the company thus, shouldn’t be reminded of this vital role.
The emphasis here is on the relevance of negative feedback to the applicants. Those who might not care so much about the feedback after an interview session would be mainly applicants who were certain about their extremely poor performance. Others, on the other hand, would be looking so forward to hearing from your company.
Negative feedback to an applicant would certainly hurt the person’s feelings within a few moments they read your feedback. The person would definitely feel sad, probably disappointed but it will enable them to take a step forward to searching for jobs in other firms rather than anticipating endlessly for your feedback or an appointment invitation.
However, It’s important your company sends this feedbacks to unsuccessful candidates within 7 days interval from the date the interview exercise was conducted. In the UK for instance, some employers send this feedback the same day after the interview, sometimes applicants receive this feedback while on their way home the same day.
Companies that delay probably notify the applicants the next day or within 48 hours intervals.
one amazing fact about the feedback from these foreign companies is that the negative content of this feedback is usually written in a polite manner as they would always apologize for your inability to make it through the interview. This is how humans should be treated as it would cheer them up and give them the courage to forge ahead. See also my two minutes video on the message to Nigerian employers
Offer them water and snacks
In another development Employers in Nigeria would invite applicants over for an interview that might last through the whole day, from 8 a.m. in the morning till 4 p.m. in the evening, sometimes 5 p.m, that’s about 8 hours yet their welfare unit wouldn’t make provisions for these candidates to have ordinary water, biscuits, sweets, chocolates, talk more of soft drinks of any kind, not even those 20 nairas happy hour juice for the kids.
My interview experience in nigeria
My first-time experience and the worst experience was when I returned to Nigeria in 2014. I went for an interview somewhere at Falamo, in Ikoyi. If you are very familiar with Ikoyi, you would believe me that most of the company’s offices there are located in places off the busy areas.
I took a carb from Flamo to the location just like I was directed by my sister-in-law who is still currently working with the company. She made it clear to me that they do not allow buses and bikes into the entire Estate where the company is located. Reasons for such restrictions were clear to me because the estate is set apart, with well-planned structures and a government residential area too. You barely see people walking on the streets talk more of hawkers.
These companies would invite candidates over for an interview mostly from Lagos Mainland because I came from the Mainland, including quite a number of the candidates too. Once you walked into the interview area which is the company’s conference room you wouldn’t even want to go out so that you wouldn’t have to miss any sessions of the interview processes.
So, we stayed glued to the conference room, about 50 us. Almost all of us arrived before the scheduled time which was 8:am. We carried out the written and the oral interview in batches. Sadly, they never made any welfare provisions for water, let alone snacks for us irrespective of the fact that we came from different distance locations. We were there until 4:30. p.m. in the evening when the interview ended.
Awkard attitude of Nigerian employers
While we were still at the company at Ikoyi, sometimes in between the interview processes, they announced to us that the admins are having their break and would resume the screening processes shortly. I wanted to use that opportunity to go buy water and biscuit outside, unfortunately, the receptionist told me there are no kiosks on the streets unless I would take a carb to one of the fast-food outlets in town. She further warned that it might be a big risk for me because the admin would resume the screening session at any moment. Guess who the owners of this company are? Expatriates from Indonesia with Nigerians as their top administrators.
During an interview cutesy demands that you offer water to the applicants because some of them might be scared of going out to buy anything before they miss any chances of the interview. They would stay tuned inside the interview hall until it finishes.
Treat people the same way you would like to be treated
At a certain point during the interview sessions, coordinators of this exercise usually go on a break just like the foreign expatriates and some of their Nigerian admins took about 30 minutes of lunch break living those of us who came for an interview to suffer in tasty and hunger. I usually pondered on how comfortably they enjoyed that lunch.
It will apparently be a great gesture that applicants would never forget even if some of them failed to scale through after the interview if you would imbibe the habit of offering some light refreshments to people who come for an interview at least water, it’s the cheapest you can get if you cannot offer them biscuits or any other snacks. Buying a carton of those kids biscuits at 10 nairas each wouldn’t cost your company a fortune.
The attitude of employers towards their prospective employees in the western world is amazingly superb! The very moment you walked into any office for an interview abroad, having registered your presence, you would be offered either a cup of coffee or tea, with some biscuits or chocolates. They allow you to even serve yourself. This is because they believed you might have left your home very early and probably didn’t have the time for breakfast before you hit the road. They also do that to have the applicants feel very free with them and to keep the interview sessions very lively. You might also love to watch the part1 of my message to Nigerian Employers
When we imitate westerners, we should also learn to practice the kind gestures that they show to people. So, Nigerian employers and all those responsible for recruiting workers for companies including the job agencies should learn to observe these necessary rules of thumbs; feedback means a lot to everyone.