Career advice, insights & tips for HR professionals
Market update: recruitment trends in Nigeria 05/07/2011
Like most of the world, Nigeria suffered from the recent economic downturn. However, as the economy has started to recover, so has the employment market and the overall picture is positive.
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The overall picture in Nigeria
There’s a lot of movement, particularly in the FMCG sectors, although due to recent economic circumstances, candidates are still very selective about the roles that they take and are seriously considering their options before they make a move.
Skills in demand
Marketing people are in short supply in Nigeria, particularly brand managers. There’s a lot of training required for brand management and that isn’t covered in most marketing courses and small businesses.
In Nigeria, the only way to really train to become a brand manager is to work in a big multinational business, as it’s not an obvious role to go into for a young graduate.
As brand management has become more important, lots of companies are chasing the same few people with relevant experience. The problem can’t necessarily be solved by bringing in expats, as visa issues make it very difficult to do so and because regional experience is a must have. This is because, although the principles of marketing are the same in Nigeria as many other places, the way they’re implemented is very different and techniques used in the USA or in the UK don’t necessarily work on a Nigerian audience, which is why the country needs a greater pipeline of Nigerian marketing talent.
Financial services focus
Within the finance sector there’s not a lot of movement at the moment. After the recession, the sector is still recovering and, as a business, we’re seeing an influx of suitable and qualified junior finance applicants, which has made the financial services market an extremely competitive place to be as a candidate.
However, more senior finance roles are much harder to fill, and there is still a war for talent at the top of businesses.
Because of the recent economic downturn, salaries have stabilised and aren’t rising a great deal. The reason for this is that, before the recession, high salaries in the financial services sector put pressure on the market, resulting in higher remuneration packages in most sectors across the board.
Since the recession, candidates are reluctant to negotiate or put any upward pressure on salary, and are accepting the pay packages that are offered to them.
Recruitment still has its challenges. For example, there is already a shortage of local talent, due to a lack of talent pipelining and candidates educated to graduate level. There is also pressure on Nigeria to supply other African countries with talent, reducing the already small talent pool. However, in the next six months, it’s likely that the demand for candidates will continue to increase due to a stabilising political climate and a recovering economy and that will hopefully encourage candidates to take the relevant qualifications to pursue their careers.
Funmi Wale-Adegbite, Managing Partner, Antal International
Funmi is a Managing Partner at Antal International