‘Flexible work hours, Second chances’ | Hot takes from Asher Adeniyi, the recruitment guru

You may want to deny it but the recruitment space in Nigeria has taken a reliable dimension in recent years. Companies will continue to give thumbs up to individuals and firms that have made recruitment seamless for fresh graduates and people who want to change jobs.

I mean, before you browse for more than 10 minutes, you see a screaming pop-up informing you about some job somewhere. The transition from carrying only folders, wearing worn-out shoes and visiting offices have now evolved into job seekers sitting in their homes to apply for jobs and placements, and in many instances, show up physically only when the recruitment process is done.

All these did not happen by chance. People with ideas turned these into realities. Asher Adeniyi of Gidijobs is one of them.

We caught up with him and had an insightful conversation:

Dear Asher, we are excited you are doing this with us. Let’s start with how Gidijobs was birthed and how the journey has been for you? 

Gidijobs started fully in 2016 while I was working on my first post-college job. My business partner had some friends who were looking to fill some roles and luckily, we got them the right people. My business partner had also started Gidijobs in UK, so when we both got to Lagos for full-time work, it was like a side-hustle until I became really passionate and serious about running the business full-time. 

I will say the journey has been very smooth and great because of two things: a compatible business partner and focus. I am more introverted (and was quite shy at the inception) and having a business partner who is extroverted helped us in the early days to make sales; as there is no business without great sales. The early sales and increasing list of clients boosted my confidence that I could resign and plunge myself 100% into the business. Our journey has also been marred with some detours but thankfully, we are fully on track, and it is exciting to be at the forefront of employment solutions in Nigeria.

The COVID-19 factor to forced changes and necessary navigating procedures

Our company is filled with young and vibrant minds. My belief is “anyone with an open mind, who can learn fast, can work in our company, regardless of grade or qualification.” Some of my life’s most valuable lessons are from cherished moments of failures and second chances. If my mentors didn’t believe in me, I might not turn out to be who I am today. So, I try to uphold this ideal as we recruit into the business. Although it is quite hard and more disappointing in our clime, I have seen some promising hires.

Also, the challenge of remote work did not catch us unawares. We’ve always promoted flexible work hours, with a key emphasis on performance. Our work is driven by performance and it is meticulously measured. For us, problems occur when we haven’t achieved our goals. So, we ensure that all our work output is measured. There are no sentiments and personal attacks. Prior to the Covid-19 crisis, our staff have routinely worked from home. We have guidelines for remote work which essentially hinges on communication.

What is Gidijobs doing differently this period, especially when you consider that more companies want to ‘offload’ not employ more?

One of the things we are doing is working on a digital product for our clients to make it easier for them to achieve their people objectives. We are also working closely with our clients to offer advisory services that will increase their team productivity.

We know that most businesses are focusing on cost reduction at the moment, and the prospect of running dry but more importantly is the need to RETHINK and focus on increasing business productivity.

Do you foresee an upward or downward spiral in Gidijobs’ indispensability now and post-pandemic? 

We definitely see an upward trajectory. We gain most of our new business by referral and we know this will continue as we sustain and improve our service to clients. Also, a new solution for both employers and job seekers to quickly spot and manage opportunities will be launched next month – and we are pretty excited about what this means for the Nigerian employment space. We are working hard to be one of Nigeria’s top employment solution firm and we are on the right track.

Let’s assume you predicted a progressive future for Gidijobs starting 2020. How is this changing?

Businesses are beginning to adopt some changes that we saw at the beginning of the year; like remote working, remote learning, shared human resources, etc. We know that with the right technology, these solutions can be easily adopted by businesses. This is a good thing, however, the challenge will be with the national human resources – which has to develop new skills. Developing new skills requires learning and access to it, and learning must change from what we know it as, to something more innovating, captivating and practical. Hopefully, this challenge will be solved along the way so that our local productivity output will be a force to reckon with.

How else do you express yourself?

I write a little bit. I talk a lot with my friends and play with my family, especially my younger relations. It’s how I keep up with new things that I should prioritise in learning.

What is that one question you have never been asked? 

Obviously, there are a lot. If you compare what I know to what I don’t know, what I know is 0.000..% 

So, I haven’t been asked almost everything… lol.

If you were to write a book about your life now, what will you title it? Why?  

It will be titled “My Second Chances” because I have learnt a lot from my mistakes, and people giving me second chances.  I wished everything is a bed of roses but it isn’t. No pain, no gain. If we do not learn from personal mistakes, we will learn from another person’s.  Second chances have been given to me by virtue of mistakes in almost every aspect of my life, and I am always grateful for this incredible favour, especially from my friends and family.

Tell us a fun fact about you. 

My all-time, favourite TV show is Suits.

You can also read our previous Share of Voice conversations with Stanley Okpara (SO&U), Jennifer Oyelade (Transquisite Consulting Talent Hub), Samuel Ajiboye (Alpha and Jam), Adenike Fagbemi (Nixxhash Communications), Bayo Adedeji (Wakanow) as well as  Olajumoke Bolu-Kujero (Jumia).

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