Some times people just say there are no jobs, using that as a solace for their inability to secure employment after filling out many applications.

In Nigeria, the unemployment rate continues to soar and a research conducted by the Ringier One Africa Media (ROAM) Group is providing answers to why the young graduates in Africa's most populous nation cannot find jobs.

It is not like there are no jobs in Africa, but there are reasons people have been unable to clinch them.

Roam found that close to 90% of applicants that apply to a job position are objectively not a match to the role advertised.

"This is caused less by a shortage of jobs, but a fundamental misunderstanding of job requirements, both from employers and candidates.

ROAM, which is encompassing the market-leading job portals in West Africa (Jobberman) and East Africa (Brightermonday), as well as Executive Recruitment and HR Solutions firm The African Talent Company.

The company analysed data sets from more than 12 million users, as well as from more than 100,000 employers, across Nigeria and Kenya active in the last two years.

Matthew Page is ROAM's Head of Jobs, and on the background of the research he said: “We have recently conducted a data review and were shocked by this huge gap.

"Our initial hypothesis was that this is due to a shortage of jobs, gaps in the labour markets, and desperation.

"However, digging deeper into our database, our analysis found that many candidates were indeed qualified for other available jobs, but did not necessarily apply for these.

"African employers and our clients indeed face a challenge in hiring the right people".

The company’s research further brought to light that an average job listing receives about 140 - 160 applications.

According to the report, this showcases that there are huge hiring efforts involved in the application and recruitment process, even before the interview.

This is both on the candidate side, to launch this large number of wrong applications, as well as from the employer, to identify the 10% of right candidates, amidst a large number of unqualified requests.

“Hiring the right competency upfront typically returns 3x productivity for the employer.

"It also minimises the on-boarding time required to get an employee up to speed," ROAM found.

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To help address this gap, the company has launched smart employer products in the last months.

"These facilitate a smooth hiring experience for employers, through tech-enabled shortlisting and matching products that identify the best candidate for the best position”, Mr Page added.

On the potential for Africa's economic growth, the CEO of ROAM, Clemens Weitz, explained that the "research clearly shows that the education of the African job market has a long way to go - both on the seeker and employer side".

He believes that solving this challenge will unlock tremendous latent economic potential.

"Imagine an efficient economy, where all employees sit in the job that is a perfect, natural fit for their individual nature.

"Productivity and satisfaction would skyrocket.

"AI and machine learning have tremendous potential, and we plan to fundamentally solve this challenge in 2019," he said. 

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