Making a recruitment decision [Archives:2007/1067/Business & Economy]

July 12 2007

By: YemenTimes Staff
Yemen is a young country with half its population below 18 years, and in a few years time large numbers of young men and women will flood the job market in search of employment opportunities, and join the current labour force estimated at 4.7 million people, out of which 40 percent are either under employed or unemployed.

The problem of unemployment in Yemen is two fold; the first part of it has to do with job seekers finding suitable employment opportunities, while the other is employers finding the right set of skills in the candidates. YemenTimes has surveyed a number of job seekers and employers and inquired about the recruitment dilemmas faced by both sides.

Eslam, a 23 year-old college graduate said: “i've been job hunting for over six months now, i know that as a fresh graduate any job i get will not pay me high because i don't have experience, but so far i couldn't find any job, no body wants to hire a fresh graduate..” she also stated most of her class mates face the same problem.

Ahmed A. , 24, elaborated that most college graduates especially those graduating from government universities are looked at as if they lack any useful skills, making their certification look like a useless piece of paper, he said “employers don't care much about the certificate, they first must know if you can get their job done or not, then they look into other things”.

University lecturer Mr. Shehab Maqrami indicated that this is true to a large extent, most students get into colleges because they want the certification, not because a university is a source of knowledge that helps them develop their talents and acquire new skills, going through university is seen more of a living experience rather than an intensive training program that prepare the workforce of the Future.

Emphasizing the same point Mr. Anwar Abdullah of a renown employment agency in Sana'a says that it is important that job seekers know their skills and their abilities, he says: “recruiters approach us and inform us about the skills they need, then we formulate an idea of who the suitable candidates might be, interview them, then send a short list to our client, however, in many cases we have a problem in finding the set of skills required by our clients, and then we have to seek in other organizations or maybe abroad.”

He also added: “Yemeni job seekers do not have an understanding of the requirements of the job market, they do not think about what jobs they want to do before training themselves in university and learning institutes, they come from all sorts of backgrounds and they just don't know what sort of jobs that want to fill or what qualifies them for any particular job”.

Human Resources consultant Mr. Najeeb Al-Sharafi stated that it is important for people to know what are their personal objectives, as this decides many of the other things in their lives such as their education, career and other things. He elaborates: “People cannot even help themselves towards a better life if they cannot imagine what it is they want out of their lives.”

The desire to have a particular job is very helpful towards getting it, however, there are many other societal and cultural factors that affect the issue of recruitment, most particular of which is discrimination, says Gender Expert Rasha jarhum: “there is serious discrimination against women in the workplace, firstly, women are not usually recruited unless the position is a gendered job, which are pre defined jobs for women to fill such as secretary, receptionist, and personal assistant.” She also said: “the recruitment of women are usually avoided because women are perceived to be less qualified, and always have special needs, women are also perceived to need more days off the work especially if that women has family commitments.” She also added: “women are therefore less likely to get jobs because men are deemed to have a priority in our society, regardless of qualification”.

Other sorts of discrimination take place in the privet sector in particular, that is where most recruiters call up their friends and relatives to inform them of a particular job opening, and in turn the number of candidates for that particular vacancy is very limited, and the choice is made depending on personal relations and family relations, says Anwar ” 80 percent of employment decisions aren't systematic, but these decisions are made because a shareholder or a manager recommends a particular person, so that person is hired – no questions asked.

A pool of skills

Organizational Behaviour experts indicate that the recruitment decision should in principle be inline with the organizations' need for skills, people just aren't hired because a vacancy opens up, but because the organization is in need for a particular set of skills in order to runs its affairs and expand its operations. Human Capital has become an integral part of many organizations especially in the service sector especially because that the output of the organization depends on their respective skills and abilities.

Therefore, in order to be more productive one must know their output and potential, the concept of self-development should be a practice among most job-seekers towards a particular specializing in order to increase the worth of their human capital, and in turn value to any organization or post.

In fact, this concept has become a government policy towards providing more employment opportunities; Executive Director of the Social Fund for Development Mr. Abdulkarim Al-Arhabi states that the fund provides loans only to people who have sound skills and are willing to undertake self-development activities. He indicated that even people who might have a limited range of skills but are willing to expand these skills are usually the people who have spectacular success not only in creating and improving their jobs, but also in sparking a domino effect on the people around them in order to expand the pool of skills shared among these people.

Examples of such are many, not only in blue-collar jobs and jobs at the lower end of the spectrum, but there are many success stories at all levels of employment, provided that there is a focus towards the self-development of the candidate's skills, this makes the skills offered for employment more attractive, in turn increasing the chances of employment.