Saturday, June 12, 2010

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Job Hunting In Nigeria

I noticed that many job announcements in Nigeria say that only candidates who are 30 or less will be trusted. For examples of this see the advertisements here and here. In the States, which I know about from working there, its possible to find a good DBA, Java programmer, or Sysadmin who is under 30 since many kids start dealing with these things from their teens; so they might already have 15 years experience.

But in 9ja with the slow networks, shallow internet & computer penetration most people who are even 30 have never dealt with backup tapes, some, built a RAID array or used tools like RT for trouble ticketing. Let alone have the experience dealing with things like SLAs, contracts, a major failure and the recovery from the failure, getting requirements, creating documentation, dealing with version control, backups will be harder. I first became aware of this because someone asked me about building an employment website for their firm and mentioned that they did not want anybody over thirty two applying.

When I asked the gentlement why their age matters and not weather they can carry out the tasks I was told that maybe an older person might have poor vision so cannot work as efficiently, might not like being supervised by someone who is younger.

I was very surprised to be hearing such things and mentioned that doing such things might not be ethical, or good business practices since all that should matter is does the person have the right skill set and are they willing to do the tasks.

Other things that I have seen is that people will only hire women as receptionists. When I discussed this with Jude he told me that women would br nicer to the customers, I pointed out that some women are not pleasant to be around but some men are; so why not make the requirements for the job a nice, friendly personality with good customer service skills instead of a young woman. He then told me that some of the men who come there will feel like they have a chance with her so they will come again. I still think that the approach to hiring is wrong and that with their age and gender discrimination these Nigerian employers are preventing a lot of good people from working for them. And after being exposed to the business and government ioperations I can see that these policies have not worked.