Nov 30

Do the Job to Get the Job

Capital is not scarce in Africa – it’s Talent.

And as much as the continent is investing in education, we can’t train people fast enough. We need senior skills NOW. We need globally experienced senior Africans to come home. They are required across all sectors – Financial Services, TMT, Consulting, Construction & Engineering, Health and Education.

But the African work environment is one of unpredictability. Candidates who cannot navigate ambiguity will fall short if they don’t have quick decision-making ability, tenacity, social awareness or patience.

So how can you make sure that a candidate will succeed in the role?

According to the Talent Intelligence (by Nik Kinley and Shlomo Ben-Hur 2013), the most important way of predicting performance is with Work Simulations and Games.

Fred Swaniker (Founder of ALN) regales a story of how a hiring manager simulated Nigerian working conditions for a candidate in an interview. By pretending there was “standstill traffic” on the road and “no power” during the interview, the candidate who best handled the situation without getting rattled, won the role.

Homecoming Revolution discussed other ways of testing the IQ, EQ and SQ with work simulations:

Could the advertisement for the role contain a brain-teaser that only specialists with the required knowledge could crack?

How do people treat the guard at the gate?

How do they handle ambiguity at the reception desk?

In an elevator with only two people, do they make eye contact and say hello?

Could the “interview” process last a whole day where they are given a desk next to their potential peers and a task?

Could there be a role reversal during the interview itself?

Hiring managers and head-hunting firms are encouraged to find innovative work simulations and games. This will ensure that Africa will prosper with the right talent in place who do the job to get the job.