Job Seekers in Cameroon Ignoring Startups & SMEs Jobs? By Javnyuy Joybert
I think many job seekers are busy looking for certain jobs which in real sense are not available? Or perhaps hoping for government jobs without learning from the past how government recruitment always turn out. Many do not even know there was a freeze in public sector hiring I think in 2019.
Majority of job seekers left school with lofty corporate job dreams which is good but I think many have failed to accept the reality. Massive youth unemployment everywhere. Youth unemployment is that share of the Cameroon labor force with ages 15-24 who have no jobs but seeking and ready to work.
Sadly, many do not want to start small and work with startups and SMEs (small and medium Enterprises). We always have this challenge of getting people when we are recruiting for startups and SMEs. Majority of the job seekers always do not show up after the interview and job offer phase.
Because they minimize the salaries. Yes, startups and SMEs do not have all the money to pay great salaries and like in my case as a consultant, the startups I work with I always push the founders to make sure they pay above the Cameroon minimum wage.
Currently I have over 4 startups I am recruiting for them who can comfortably afford beginning salary above the minimum wage of Cameroon and many job seekers turning them down and you will see a job seeker who has a career gap of 3 years. That is their last internship or volunteer position was in 2018.
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I think it is high time job seekers in Cameroon know that we are in a growing economy, to be aware that 70% of the economy is driven by startups and SMEs. It is high time to wear the building mentality. Many job seekers are only looking for ready-made companies and very very few are willing to join young dreams and contribute in the building. The question is how many ready-made companies are in Cameroon? How many job seekers have the skills, experience and exposure that many of these giant companies look for?
One thing is for sure, the startups and SMEs many job seekers are ignoring now are companies of tomorrow ( 3 to 5 to 10 years from now). Truth is, youth unemployment in Cameroon has contributed to poverty and low standards of living. Consequently, social ills like sex work (have seen or heard about the IDP girls in Bonaberi or Obili?), criminals, and scammers have increased. Prisons have, moreover, become crowded by many so-called ‘third generation’ social ills. These youths are pushed into doing all these due to the growing rate of unemployment and also their unwillingness to start small and grow sustainable careers.
My recommendation to every job seeker. Instead of staying at home and doing nothing while hoping for a perfect dream job, start building your career with a startup and or SME around you. Many will be able to pay you allowance like maybe 20 000XAF, 35 000XAF to 50 000XAF etc. One of your key goals should be to contribute towards to growth of that business in terms of sales and profitability. When the startup grows financially definitely your pay will experience an increase.
Unemployment in Cameroon is a big elephant. Everyone must play their part to conquer this pain.