At the start of August, Jobberman, Nigeria’s foremost recruitment company hosted a webinar that brought together top HR professionals and senior-level executives with first-hand knowledge of the positive impacts that internship and entry-level graduate programs can have on businesses.
The purpose of the webinar was to encourage organizations at all levels to see internships and entry-level positions as a low-cost training ground for skill development, despite the perceived element of risk.
Enticed by bumper work incentives by firms abroad, Nigerian tech talents, for instance, that are either leaving or taking on remote roles, are causing their local employers to have sleepless nights and forcing them to rethink their recruitment approach.
This puts local firms in direct competition with global firms for talent, and there is a need to be more flexible in their offers as the allure of remote work and the gig economy deepen the search for qualified mid to senior-level talent.
The webinar, which was titled “Harnessing The Business Benefits of Internship Programs,” featured top HR professionals from Jobberman, TGI Group, and a former McKinsey and Company consultant, who shared tips on managing the recruitment process to suit business goals, increasing talent retention, and managing business expectations as the panellists attempted to demystify the challenges to entry-level employment that most job seekers face, as well as how businesses may make the most of internships and entry-level roles without becoming a corporate training ground.
The discussion session was led by Bukola Okikiolu, the Communications Specialist at Jobberman Nigeria. Other panellists include Chisom Ofili, Head of Recruitment at Jobberman Nigeria; Abimbola Osibodu, an ex-recruitment specialist at McKinsey & Co.; and Kehinde Alo, Head, Learning & Development at TGI Group.
Jobseekers tend to look for new possibilities when they have been adequately armed with the necessary skills to earn more in their professions, which is why most firms are seldom unwilling to recruit interns or job seekers with little or no relevant experience.
But the answer to this isn’t outright ignoring them. Kehinde suggests that training can be designed around significant business concerns with predetermined ROIs so that if the candidate quits, the host organization will have profited from the relatively brief connection and relevant business challenges could have been attended to within that time frame.
According to Abimbola, one possible solution to employee retention is to provide interns and other employees with a clear route to professional advancement. She observed that the majority of people who advance to management roles at the most desirable consulting companies begin as junior associates or interns who are adequately supported by more senior staff members.
When workers began quitting their jobs in droves in early 2021, analysts assumed that the “Great Resignation” was a direct result of pandemic turmoil and uncertainty. Many employees left because their employers could not give appropriate remote-work assistance. A lot more have departed, seeking greater autonomy. Many others left for better pay elsewhere when the labour market tightened. Even though COVID-19 restrictions have mainly been relaxed, resignation letters continue to pile up. Panellists suggest that a poor work culture could be responsible for this.
Chisom observes that enthusiasm for completing things and a good outlook are contagious. It immediately spreads and demonstrates how productive and content everyone is at work when individuals smile, communicate cordially with one another, and crack jokes. Businesses should foster a positive work environment so that new employees feel empowered to speak out, have their opinions acknowledged, and be a valuable part of the team.
As part of their commitment to encouraging businesses to hire more interns, Jobberman is providing employers with a free listing of internship and entry-level positions requiring no more than three years of experience. This, however, is consistent with their aim of matching excellent employees with quality talent.