Top Reasons You May or May Not be Employable

There had been a heated debate on employability of fresh Nigeria graduates on Nairaland recently. Many HR persons on the forum stated that most fresh graduates are unemployable while the graduates defended themselves blaming the employers for the situation.

Inasmuch as it’s easy to say graduates are employable or are not, finding the right answer to the question is not as easy as saying yes or no. Many factors contribute to your employability, first is the skills you possess, your personality, type of job you are looking for and the company your are applying to.

This article will bring you the various views from both sides and my candid response to the issue.

Below are responses by some HR Persons

Very true.

I remember the interviews we ran for a couple of graduates. 96% of them had nothing to offer. A particular lady was asked, “So what can you do?” She answered, “I can do anything you tell me to do. I don’t know what I can do because I’ve never worked before but I can do anything.” I asked her for her skills and she started pleading, crying, repeating that she could do anything.

Yes we know that our educational system is poor but what have you done to develop yourself that gives you an edge over millions of graduates out there?

Competition is stiff. Survival of the fittest.

There was another graduate that couldn’t write a formal/business letter. He started with “Hi sir” and used a lot of words like “srzly, schl, ur, dere, wen, etc.”

Poor spellings and paragraphs. Then he ended with, “Bai 4 now”.

I used to think it’s a false claim widely made by the HRP until I was privileged to interview a couple of graduates in my workplace.

Inasmuch as I believe everyone has his area of specialisation still not all could really defend their certificates.

My place of work being a private school and the ever demanding need to recruit teachers has put me in the platform to appraise the employability of most of the graduates that applied within. The highly noted problem of these graduates is the lack of good communication skills.

Additionally, 95% of these graduates were unable to solve elementary school questions. Therein hinging on poor academic background.

And some are just after money even though they have nothing to offer. I could remember giving one some questions to solve and she did absolutely zilch. I quizzed her to know why. She said she had taught before and would undoubtably perform well if employed. She thereafter jumped to ask about the pay. She lacks courtesy I thought though.

For solutions, I think many graduates believe in their certificate and not in their individual capability which would make or mar their pursuits of employment. So, more self-development activities should be taken-up by graduates.

Also, most are not confident in themselves. I recently interviewed a 400 level student and I asked him to rate himself in his academics but he wasn’t willing to do that and requested for test to do the judgement. And guess what, he failed all questions. Had it been he mustered the courage to present himself well. He may have escaped being exposed. Maybe he was over-confident though.

Summarily, all points hinge on lack of preparations. Even if one is not so good academically despite having a good grade he should be able to prepare well for employment cause it’s not a walk-over.

Some of the arguments by graduates are below

There are many employable graduates like me out there, just that most times we don’t get the opportunity to prove our worth. .why?? Because it’s all about man know man in Nigeria. ..mtcheeeeww

96%?? Must you exaggerate? ? undecided
You asked what skills she had and she started crying ?? Seriously? ? If you must forge, then let it be a little bit credible ma…

It’s always about how unemployable Nigerian graduates are….aren’t there good and wonderful ones?? You are talking about how bad Nig graduates perform during interviews, weren’t there exceptional and intelligent ones at the interview you conducted too?? Definitely there were, just that it’s always all about negativity in Nigeria. ..mtcheeeeww. ..

Abeg, I’m outta here.

Lolz. H.R- a profession dats nt really abt professionalism but about compatibility and likeness @least for some. Dats why even d best candidate wunt get d job still. In as much as dey r good and bad graduates, we can’t rule out nepotism in d country too. And is dat why some H.Rs don’t get back 2pple afta interview? Someone honored an invite, dedicated his time and money but after u so called H.Rs are done, u jst blank out.. Mz H.R, pls remember u were once an unemployed graduate. Try and teach ur oda H.Rs d right tin to do.

Story of the generation.
After employing people through the usual ”man know man process” them come here to cry wolf.

Don’t mind them, the kind of applications these HR people get shows the worth of their company. Cos I don’t know how someone applying to good coys would type “Bai 4 now”, “Dede Ka” etc.

After going through the heated debate I contributed based on my experience. Below is my response:

Employability depends on the role involved and the culture of the company. If I am looking for a store officer, I won’t require you have first class or second class, I won’t even look at your grade. I will look at your ability to pay attention to details.

First thing I look out for, which I believe is same with most employers is the passion to contribute. Most graduates just want to get a job and make money. While this is not wrong itself, employers want people that want to create a value, people that derive satisfaction in working to earn a living. The thing most employers hate is employing people you have to constantly monitor to ensure they are productive.

Ability to comprehend and execute simple instructions is second on my list. I have conducted interviews where some graduates show lack of basic understanding. In some instances, I try to break things down a little further but there and then you see many giving up without even trying harder.

Here are some guidelines, it’s not exhaustive but you can start from here.

1) Understanding of the responsibilities/requirements of any job you are applying for. If you don’t have up to 70% of the requirements do not apply. Also you should be convinced you are willing and able to do the job before applying. You must understand the roles of the position before walking into any interview.

2) Practical basic computer skills. I have seen candidates that claim they know how to work with Excel but can hardly create simple spreadsheets. Take your time, get practical. Don’t assume you know, practice and learn.

3) Work on your comprehension skills. It’s the same thing you learned in secondary school. Take the humble pie, go and pick your secondary school note and brush yourself up.

4) Don’t wait till you get a 200k per month job, start something and give your best. Nothing like practical experience. In all always GIVE YOUR BEST!

5) Don’t beg for job, don’t be desperate. Study the industry, what skills are companies looking for? Learn those skills very well.

6) Consider self employment.

About Andy

Andy is the co-Founder of Ngcareers, Nigeria's Top Job Search and Career site. You can follow him on twitter via @andychukse

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