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New Book, First Generation Empowers Fresh Graduates With Practical Guides on Career Mobility

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How does a son of a wine tapper with a university degree transition into the marketplace to start and grow a career? That is the question that Jonah Solomon seeks to answer in his new book, First Generation: A Fresh Graduate’s Perfect Guide to Starting a Career in Emerging Market.

With graduate unemployment in the Emerging Market averaging 7.97%, according to a recent MSCI report, and about three million Nigerian graduates without jobs, Jonah Solomon seeks to address this problem by empowering fresh graduates with practical guides to transition into the marketplace to start a career.

At the public presentation of the book in Lagos recently, the author, Solomon, said he leveraged his experience to start and grow his career in Africa’s largest city, Lagos to offer practical tips that most final year students, fresh graduates and those seeking to make real progress in their careers must never take for granted.

“This book is strictly about getting started on a strong footing as a fresh graduate who has now acquired a university degree or higher diploma and heading to the city to start a life with minted certificate.

“By the time you finish this book, you will be able to answer questions like what is next after your graduation, if you are still getting into school. If you are on the cusp of graduation, say you are in your penultimate or final year; you should have a fair idea of what you should be doing. If you have just graduated and looking to get started on a career, the practical lessons I outlined in this book can come in handy as a perfect guide,” said Jonah Solomon at the book’s official public presentation in Lagos.

Earlier in a remark, the Deputy Business Editor of Vanguard newspapers, Mr. Babajide Komolafe who was the chair of the occasion said the book was timely, as it comes at a time that graduate unemployment has reached a crisis proportion.

“I commend Jonah for taking the time to write this book. I am optimistic that young people who are leaving the university today will find it invaluable. A lot of fresh graduates are usually confused about where to start immediately after graduation and I think this book will offer that much-needed respite.”

Also speaking during a fireside chat, the Head, Operations and Experience, Jobberman, Francesca Alabede said the book highlights important ingredients for starting and growing a career in emerging markets.

She said: “I am happy that the book highlights the importance of soft skills in career mobility. This is because, apart from technical skills, fresh graduates must develop soft skills. Soft skills play a critical role in the workplace and most times determines whom employers hire.

“A recent study by Harvard University researchers found that 85% of job successes were because of well-developed soft skills, while 15% was as a result of technical skills. As a fresh graduate, apart from your technical skills, you need to develop your soft skills. These soft skills include how you interact with people, how you get your work done, how you conduct yourself, etc. Therefore, your technical skills are never enough and fresh graduates must pay attention to these.”

On her part, the book reviewer, Onna Okafor, said the book is a manual for not only fresh graduates but also anyone looking to make meaningful progress in their career.

“While this book is targeted at fresh graduates, I find it compelling for anyone looking to make progress in his/her career whether fresh graduates or practising professionals. The practical tips contained in this book are timeless and I commend the author for taking the time to give back to the society by writing this book.”

The book’s electronic and paperback versions are available for purchase on Amazon or amazon.co.uk for a discounted price. In Nigeria, the paperback and eBook are also available for download on Solomon’s websitePaystack Storefront and Selar.

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Why Invest in Employment Verification?

A vital part of the hiring process is pre-employment screening, where companies determine the truth of what is on a person’s resume and other details about their background.

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A vital part of the hiring process is pre-employment screening, where companies determine the truth of what is on a person’s resume and other details about their background. This process is known as “Employment Verification.” It is critical for companies who want to ensure they are hiring the most qualified and experienced professionals possible.

While most businesses have screening measures in place, these practices can vary from in-house, extensive background checks to outsourced third-party verification. For a business, it’s worth asking: What is better to invest in, an entire in-house team or a third-party provider?

In-House vs. Third-Party Verification

Pre-employment screenings investigate a person’s employment history, job titles, education, and other topics of interest. The wisdom of investing in an in-house or third-party verification depends on multiple factors.

An in-house screening conducted by the HR department can have many advantages over outsourcing. For one, there’s no queue or delay in starting the screening process. In-house verification can also lower the costs, at least for large corporations. But for small and medium businesses, the cost of staffing a full-time verification team can be unreasonable.

A third-party employment verification provider completes advanced fact-checking for employers. This service assures would-be employers that their prospective hire is top-notch. Businesses that perform this service charge reasonably little for their work, often only charging a low, flat rate per employee researched. Cost differences may also arise for someone who wants to do more thorough background checks or bulk background screening. Companies that perform these verification procedures can also conduct more in-depth research for high-profile or high-risk jobs that may require a security clearance.

How Screening Impacts the Bottom Line

Whether to screen employees for criminal history or to confirm their professional history, background checks are prevalent in the US and abroad. But is it worth investing in more rigorous procedures for your company?

Background checks are one aspect of employment verification that gives an employer peace of mind. With issues like criminal history and drug screenings taken care of, employers and HR managers can focus on other aspects of the hiring process.

Another reason for a hiring manager to hire a third-party provider is to remain competitive. Businesses worldwide are vetting their would-be hires with critical lenses by studying their resumes and performing tasks like transcript translation and verification. These measures are part of efforts to improve the quality of their hires and meet the demands of a global workforce.

Beyond being part of safeguards to protect their workforce, rigorous screening practices also assuage concerns for clients and other investors. They provide an assurance that only the best and brightest are in their offices and that they are all working towards the same goal.

Final Thoughts

Investigating the history of would-be hires is an important task. This work improves the safety and morale of a workplace. Whether you hire in-house staff or third-party professionals, high-quality screenings are crucial. Either way, it’s a part of the hiring process worth investing in—your clients and employees will certainly appreciate your efforts!

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Elon Musk Takes Final Stance on Work From Office, Remote Policy

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Tesla earnings

Elon Musk has decided to head the other way from the Work-From-Home (WFH) controversy being generated across social media as Tesla’s work from office policy takes effect. 

On Wednesday, Elon Musk, through an email sent to his staff but leaked to the media, insisted on work from office policy for all Tesla staff.

Recall that Mr. Musk acquired Twitter at $44 billion and has since received backlashes from the social media platform following his comments about Twitter. The latest one is from Twitter investors who dragged the American businessman to court

The new policy of the company is directly opposite Twitter’s March policy that allows staff to work from anywhere they feel comfortable. 

In a published statement, Twitter Chief Executive Officer, Parag Agrawal said, “Wherever you feel most productive and creative is where you will work, and that includes Working From Home full-time, forever.” 

Agrawal, however, added that “distributed working would be challenging. We’ll need to be proactive, intentional, learn, and adapt.”

Elon Musk, on the other hand, insisted that working from home is not acceptable and all staff of Tesla must work from the office, “not a remote branch office unrelated to the job duties.”

He said “Everyone at Tesla is required to spend a minimum of 40 hours in the office per week. If you don’t show up, we will assume you have resigned,” he wrote in the leaked email. 

Musk said Tesla’s factory workers are expected to work full-time in the office and that team collaboration is essential to the company’s growth.

He added that Tesla has and will create and manufacture the most exciting and meaningful products of any company on Earth, and this will not happen by phoning it in.

According to a US-based system security company, Kastle, office occupancy in the US stands at about 43 per cent. 

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Toxic Workplaces Are Not Rites of Passage

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By Kelechi Eke, Head of Operations, DLM Capital Group

Nigeria’s Twitter space was agog with an investigative report from TechCabal this week – it was an expose into the startup culture of Bento Africa. This story stirred up an explosive conversation on Twitter about toxic workplaces in Nigeria with the hashtag #horriblebosses in which there were mentions of numerous companies.

Working retail has now become a horrible introduction to the workplace – a taxing feat with numerous responsibilities, low pay, and insensitive bosses – that everyone must endure at one point or the other in their career journeys. Employer’s priorities must shift from focusing solely on the profits at the expense of workers to treating employees with decency and respect. Things like how an employer reacts to time-off requests, especially when concerning health and family emergencies, matter.

According to 1.3 million Glassdoor reviews from U.S employees of Culture 500 companies collated by MIT researchers this year; these attributes – disrespect, non-inclusive environment, unethical behavior, cutthroat competition and abuse topped the list of 5 biggest signs of toxicity discovered in most workplaces. Other flaws mentioned by employees included excess bureaucracy, insularity, risk aversion, and an impersonal feel, just to mention a few. The organizational cost of toxic culture is not flowery – asides from an obvious increase in employee attrition, a poor employer brand makes it harder to attract talent. From the research, employees however prized the following attributes – putting people first, helping workers find and pursue their passions, bringing people together on a personal level, creating a space where people can be themselves, and empowering people to own their work.

Every leader needs to worry about toxic culture – and begin to look at ways to improve. Build atmospheres where your employees feel respected. Ensure your C-suite is comprised of supportive leaders and weed out unethical behavior(s) immediately you learn of them. Share challenges and successes with your staff, hold open forums, have open door policies, and embrace honesty (even when it is hard). It is never enough for your company to be awarded a ‘Best Place to Work’ for PR purposes.  Put in the work and earn that award on merit. No doubt, the Best Places to Work awards are a thing of pride, celebrated by the press, respected by investors, and pushed on social media, but what story do these rankings tell you? Is it the whole story? Just because a workplace has good PR or is deemed a ‘Best Place to Work’, should recruits all jump on the celebration wagon? The patterns with these workplaces (most of them big brand names) whose awards come on merit is that they lead with purpose, offer opportunity and growth, behave with transparency, listen, and adapt. Now, which of these does your company abide by? It is important to point out that what puts these companies on these award lists is much more than perks and benefits. Perks and benefits can only get you so far. They have to tie back to employees – their purpose, their goals, what helps them grow.

I urge all employees to continually stand up for themselves and realize when they are unfairly treated.  To employers, I encourage you to treat your employees as you would like to be treated.

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