HR experts share what employers look for in new graduates

Participants at a recent Jobs Fair. (Courtesy)

The University of Nairobi has introduced a programme where employers are invited to the institution to offer students tips on highly sought-after skills in the job market.

Beatrice Ndaisi, who coordinates the partnership between the University of Nairobi and various industries, said that there are gaps between training and the needs of employers.

"You will find instances where students can't even put together a CV, while others can even express themselves eloquently," she said.

Ann Kariuki, the human resources lead at Brookside Dairies said that employers want an employee with emotional intelligence.

"Customer service skills are important. A combination of soft skills and hard skills make for a successful work environment," she said.

Mary Chemas-Jumba, the Human Resources manager at Africa Global Logistics (AGL), said soft skills include communication and ethical practices.

The discussion was moderated by Laure Paugam, the executive director of the French Chamber of Commerce in Kenya on the sidelines of the annual Jobs Fair forum that took place on May 16 at the Alliance Française.

The event brought together students taking French courses, alumni of French universities, companies that are registered with the French Chamber of Commerce as well as HR practitioners.  

Established in Kenya in 2012, Campus France is the National French Agency dedicated to the promotion of higher education, fostering international student exchange, and facilitating global mobility.

“The Campus France Kenya Office operates under the purview of the French Embassy in Kenya and Somalia, in conjunction with the Alliance Française of Nairobi,” said Eva Plaziat, manager of Campus France.

Denis Githinji, the head of operations at Brighter Monday acknowledges the existence of a gap between what is being taught in schools and what is demanded by the industry.

Brighter Monday also helps French firms, make an entry into Kenya, by identifying and recruiting employees with the desired qualities.

Dr Viola Jepchumba, chairperson of AFRAKEN (Association of France Alumni in Kenya) said they aim to strengthen ties between the alumni in Kenya and France.


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