Premium Times’ story on the treatment being meted out to job-seekers in two leading Banks in Nigeria – Access Bank and GTBank further brings to the fore the malfeasance called ‘recruitment’ in Nigeria. I have written on similar issue in the past a couple of times but it seems the unwholesome practices have gone on unabated. It is said to read that these Banks have introduced new exploitative ways of demeaning job-seekers.
Passing an aptitude test and two levels of interview are no guarantee to securing a job in Access Bank. It is reported by Premium Times that that recruitment process in the Bank now include mobilisation of funds to the tune of One Million Naira (£4000) by every applicant. Applicants who are unable to get Customers who will deposit the sum of One Million Naira in the Bank are shown the door even if they had excelled in aptitude test and interview.
Introducing deposit generation as a precondition for employment has far-reaching implications on job seekers and the labour market as a whole. With a large army of unemployed youth and its attendant social consequences, a lot of young graduates seeking employment at Access Bank will do anything to meet the ‘conditions’ being set by the Bank. Ladies may venture into prostitution while the guys could resort to armed robbery and so many other vices. It could also set a precedence in the labour market which may see other financial institutions towing similar line.
GTBank was also mentioned in the report by Premium Times. Allegations of verbal abuse and torment on Management Trainees by a consultant hired by the Bank were made. If these were true, then I am wondering how tormenting a group of trainees will bring out the best from them! It will simply scared the stiff out of them and they could live in a perpetual state of fear throughout their lives. Intimidating and demeaning your trainees are missteps to creating the right work ethic.
While the buck stops at the desks of the Managing Directors of these two Banks, the blame should go the HR Heads if these Machiavellian practices are existent in their organisations. The HR units initiate and implement policies that are concerned with managing people in the workplace. In an era where employees need to be engaged, these Banks are exploiting the high rate of unemployment in the country to demean and abuse their employees. It is important that these allegations are investigated by the relevant authorities.
While I do not expect any serious action to be taken by the government, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) should investigate these allegations and impress it upon employers to respect the dignity of workers. It is high time something was done to stem this ugly development. It is also important for victims of these abuse to speak out and also seek redress in the court of law. Organisations will not change their ways if the people do not do something drastic to halt this dangerous trend.