Word-of-mouth most preferred method for finding jobs - report

Monday December 10 2018

Jobs. People line up for job interviews in

Jobs. People line up for job interviews in Kampala. PHOTO BY STEPHEN OTAGE 

By Nelson Wesonga

Kampala. Up to 45 per cent of Uganda’s underemployed prefer using word-of-mouth, family and friends to other means to find jobs, says the latest Manpower Survey–Uganda Report.

On the other hand, 28 per cent prefer dropping unsolicited applications on prospective employers’ desks.
Twenty-two (22) per cent prefer media channels as well as the Internet, says the report by the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS).
Asked why word-of-mouth is the preferred method of finding other jobs, Mr Douglas Opio, the executive director of the Federation of Uganda Employers (FUE), said there is little functional labour market information in the public domain.
“Some organisations use headhunting, information you get through word-of-mouth,” Mr Opio said.

“Some are reluctant to advertise because the number of applications they will get will overwhelm them. So that makes word-of-mouth preferable.
“If you concentrate on looking for a job through newspapers you might not get it because there are many people searching for the same.”
The survey further found that two in every 10 employees are looking for a different job, with the majority (21 per cent) being in the private sector compared with 15 per cent in the public sector.
Mr Gideon Badagawa, the executive director of the Private Sector Foundation (PSFU), told Daily Monitor the private sector offers more opportunities.

“In public service, there are salary scales and specific salaries attached to them. So even if you were to move, you will swing within the same scale. So the urge to move is less,” Mr Badagawa said.
“In the private sector, you have got a lot more leverage. You can swing from one job to another.”
He noted that since many workers in the private sector are not permanent employees, and, of course, not pensionable, moving is easier.
Asked why some people who already have jobs would want to move to a different one, Mr Opio traced it to the difficulty of getting a job in the first place.

“If it is hard to get a job, people are susceptible to accept any offer and once they have got that job they realise they can get another elsewhere,” he said.
“The first job is a stepping stone to the second. Most importantly, many jobs require experience. So young people get their first jobs to get experience to lead them to the job they want.”

About the survey

January 2016 – June 2017 is when UBOS carried out the survey to characterise and generate information on the current and potential employment levels for skilled and trained manpower.
The government funded the survey.
Employees were asked: one, are you currently looking for a job? Two, how do you search for jobs?
UBOS interviewed managers and employees in ministries, departments and agencies of government as well as formal private organisations.