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CONVERSATION

SATURDAY TELEGRAPH

19 SEPTEMBER 2015

‘People should only apply for jobs they could truly secure’ CONTINUED FROM PAGE 13

has experiencd since 2009 the three undergraduates of Obafemi Awolowo University introduced it, it’s quite ironic that the architects of the project do not pretty much share such belief. Olude’s argument is simply based on the fact that the ratio of people getting jobs on the platform is low when compared with population of the workforce in Nigeria. He explains: “Till today, we don’t feel we have achieved our dream. We still need to put a lot of things in place and success means different meanings. For instance, If Jobberman has about three million people out of 50 million workers in Nigeria on the platform, we cannot call that a success. You would look at the number of employers and how many who subscribed to Jobberman before we start talking of success. It might look like a phenomenal success in the eyes of the public, but I must tell you that there is still a lot to do. “ Complementing one another Speaking about how they’ve managed to work together, he says the key point was that they knew themselves from school days before setting up the business. Olude also highlights another important point. “I am not talking philosophically now; this is the reality. If you look at three of us deeply, we are different. My strength is somebody’s weakness and that has contributed a lot to helping one another. The moment I am shouting and ready to bite, my two other partners try to calm me down. It is practically hard to see three of us not in talking terms,” he noted. As the chief operating officer of the company, Olude ensures the company runs from day-to-day and takes care of the staff members in order to function effectively. “I ensure that we have the right human and operational capability. Ayodeji is the CEO; he focuses on investors and also drives the strategy of the businesses, while Opeyemi handles the technology and the success of the products that we sell.” Moving from Lekki to Marina For Olude, moving the Jobberman’s office to Marina, Lagos, from Lekki was strategic. He pointed out that most of their employees come from the mainland and had issues of getting to the office in time due to the early morning traffic. He explains that they saw the need to be more central. The moves, he says, excited the staff members and boosted their morale. “It is vital to make the staff members happy and comfortable. If one has the wrong strategy but the right people, it would be hard to identify weaknesses. The work atmosphere is very cool and we have people who are passionate about what we do and stand for.” Eyes on the future While insisting that their optimal goal is to help a candidate gets the best job, he maintains that as a company they desire to do more in educating the public and helping clients to get the best people to drive their companies forward. “We’ve set up other subsidiaries to help us achieve some of these things. We now have Jobberman Learning, which is focused on helping candidates on the portal to get the best education. When you work with a Jobberman Learning consultant, he looks at your profile and suggests to

L-R: Olude, Adewunmi and Awoyemi (co-founders)

We have a succession plan and the business can survive or thrive without any of us with the way it is structured

...with wife

you some of the courses we feel could take you to the next level. “We also have a subsidiary called the Work Centre. We realised that we’ve left uneducated people out for a long while. I mean people like the drivers, chefs, among others. With this platform, we help them to get jobs and ensure that they are well protected and given all the benefits when they are employed. They don’t get certain things from employers because they are being looked down on. We ensure that they get all these things before we deliver them to employers.” Expanding frontiers Three years ago, the company moved to Ghana and recently too they’ve extended to East Africa. Though Jobberman Ghana stands on its own, Olude maintains that it is doing just fine. The extension, for him, was a logical progression of the desire to be the biggest job provider in Africa. But since Nigeria is a bigger market, he admitted that the bulk of their businesses come from here. “I must also say that response and

acceptance of Jobberman Ghana has been overwhelming. I could say we have had more acceptances in Ghana than in Nigeria. Though there is little success in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, we are still trying to make our impact felt,” he explained. In the Island office, they have about 70 staff members in which Olude feels is quite a number for a recruiting company. He insists that their mission is to ensure that people have access to jobs that are available in other companies, not in Jobberman. Though they have plans to set up different branches across Nigeria, he says that Lagos is a huge market with 50 to 70 per cent of Nigeria’s total GDP. “So, if you look at it from that perspective; it makes sense to dominate Lagos first so to speak before extending to other parts. We have plans to move to Abuja, Port Harcourt and even places people might feel are not a priority. We are working along that line and you would begin to see some output very soon.” A life of its own If one of the partners decides to leave Jobberman, Olude insists it cannot cripple the company. “Nothing will happen to the company if any of us decides to go, to be frank. We have a succession plan and the business can survive or thrive without any of us with the way it is structured,” he said with confidence. Dealing with resentments Olude says the pain of losing out in

jobs for which applicants had hopes of securing due to intense competition in the labour market is fuelling the perception that Jobberman is not reliable. “I would be frank here: when 500 people applied for a job and the employer needs just one person, it means that 499 people won’t be happy and some won’t even get calls. The way some of the applicants also set up profiles makes it hard for them to get the right job. I would advise anyone who is having difficulty with the portal to get in touch with our customer centre, rather than feeling bad about it. We would look at their profiles and see how best we can help them out. Also, people should only apply for jobs they fit in because it reduces their frustration. I don’t see why a fresh graduate should apply for a job meant for top executives with years of experience.” Growing up years Growing up was quite interesting for Olude. He says as the second child in the family he had a lot of fun and could still recall exciting memories. “I have two younger sisters and an elder brother. I studied to be an engineer and enjoyed it until I felt I needed to add more values to the society apart from adding values to inanimate objects. I still have things I love to do; I am not close to my dream. I have plans to do certain things but don’t see them coming up anytime soon because Jobberman still has a long way to go.” Marital bliss Although “still new in the business of marriage”, he noted that the experience has nonetheless been fun so far. “I say this to my wife every time that I am sure I cannot marry anybody better than her. She has been a blessing to me. I met her in the university and we attend the same church too. I think I was attracted by her complexion. Marriage has made me calmer and I work harder now because I know I have a family at home.”

New telegraph saturday, september 19, 2015 binder1  

Saturday, September 19, 2015

New telegraph saturday, september 19, 2015 binder1  

Saturday, September 19, 2015

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