In a conversation with HR Focus Africa, the HR Manager of Computer Pride, Mr. George Njuroge shared some insight into the HR Climate of Kenya. He said, “Kenya is still recovering from its last election mess. It all started with political uncertainty then two elections had to be conducted where in between there was governing crisis resulting to violence and skirmishes.”

“This situation affected the country’s economy as insecurity was in the rise forcing some organizations to close down while others downsized lending many people jobless. We therefore have a significant number of people still looking for jobs, increasing the job applications but with poor response from Organizations as approving employment budgets with a recovering economy is a tricky affair. Positions replacement after resignations or parting ways is a deep thought decision making with high percentage resulting tasking the remaining staff to multitask as Organisations wait to regain after the losses incurred earlier.”

According to him, this background informs us that: about 20% of Organisations may not have new positions to recruit, most organisations will not have salary rise this year, to increase revenue the sale and marketing jobs has risen, the ICT and Accounting positions, rising number of applications but poor response from organisations, Politics and elections are to blame for this status.

The Effect on Recruitment:

Organisations suffered a big blow economically as generating revenue while violence and skirmishes prolonged became a pipe dream. This has affected employment budgets reducing employability. The situation is changing but in a slow pace. I guess by the end of the year we should see most Organizations registering profits and allocating more employment budgets.

What Recruiters Look Out For:

Today, when hiring, we do traits checks in the interviews. Naturally, it is not easy to pretend if a series of interviews are set before concluding. With the right interview panel one can identify the following traits; an intense determination to get results, willing to make hard decisions (Heart and Mind balance), Ability to persist when encountering roadblocks, rigorous in identifying ways a team could perform better, care about the real impact of their work (not just appearances), display a deep commitment to learning and continuous improvement.

On Improving the employee experience:

In attempting to provide a good employee experience, it is essential that all staff job descriptions are to be well understood by each staff. In fact meetings have to be set regularly to feel the staff perception and the will to achieve the set tasks. That involvement plus coming up with the KPIs together help the employee own his role in the organisation creating motivation.

The Organisation strategy need to be well presented to the employee where each understand their piece or the pillar to support and the expectations. This creates an intentional or visional driven teams and synergy in the whole organisation making everyone productive.

In addition to this approach, trainings about Life work balance, how to reduce stress and improve attitude, Staff engagement and team work skills will inject energy for staff to stretch themselves beyond comfort levels. Continuous communication of the set policies of the organisation especially from the HR Manual keeps the Staff aware of the expected values from everyone.

General Overview of HR Practice in Kenya:

With Organisations embracing professionalism, the HR function has been taken seriously especially at strategic level beyond the normal administration. Most HR Managers are key drivers of Organization strategy or the vision. Allocation of resources to step by step support achievement of the set objectives has become a major role of the HR Professionals. Learning and Development, performance management aligned to achieving the vision is a HR key role. I can say that the department is now more appreciated than in the past where the administration was all to execute therefore making it part of the executive management team.

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