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Jobs: 10 areas ripe for Kenyan jobseekers

Dear job seeker,

Do you realize that most jobs in Kenya are never publicly announced? Why? Because employers prefer to use all other methods of finding new staff, especially referrals, before posting vacancies through advertisements. While this may seem unfair, remember that employers are nervous about hiring. They are trying very hard to find the right employee who will fit in with other employees and quickly adapt to company culture, who possesses such core virtues as honesty and diligence and has the will to perform well above expectations. As you can imagine, this is a difficult task with high costs in the case of a wrong decision. It is only natural that employers should ask their most trusted connections for recommendations of good employees first, to reduce their risks.

As the list below will show you, there are jobs in Kenya for those who know how to get them:

1. Competent Workers Urgently Required Here

If you are a sharp, fast learner, with a knack for being ahead of the technology curve, Logistics firms such as Bollore Africa need you. Technology changes fast in this industry and these companies are incurring large costs in constant re-training of workers. Have you thought of venturing into the training industry? Or perhaps heavy machinery operation. Look around you and you won’t fail to see some construction underway. The good news: not enough people in Kenya know how to operate the machines on these sites; construction companies are looking for you–man/woman in the know.

2. Transcription and Outsourcing

CloudFactory has just received $2 million from the Rockefeller Foundation to train its Kenyan workforce and expand its operations. They have 200 employees now; we bet they will be taking in more. How good is your English? If the applications we receive are any indication, you are likely among the majority of Kenyan degree/diploma/ certificate holders who believe “Am looking for a job” is a grammatically sober sentence. We recommend that you thoroughly revisit your English before you go looking for jobs.

3. Garden City for Retail & Hospitality-related Jobs

The new uber-mall will be opening in May. We know that 112 shops have already booked space in the 33,000 square meter mall. Nakumatt, Tile & Carpet, Victoria Courts and the Game are just some of the companies opening outlets. There will also be restaurants and cafes. Are you in customer service, sales, operations management, logistics, cleaning & hygiene, culinary, hospitality? Hint, hint.

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4. Renewable Energy Jobs Continue to be a Good Bet

This emergent sector continues to look promising. Cummins, an American first, just became the second biomass company to connect to the national grid. It is producing electricity from the toxic shrub “mathenge”. Remember that you don’t have to be an engineer to venture into this industry. Meanwhile, M-Pesa linked solar firm, M-Kopa, is making $20 million in revenues per year and adding 4000 homes to its network every week. That’s jobs in customer service, installations, debt collection (a trouble area for the firm that has made it seek and secure approval from the CBK to share defaulter information with credit reference bureaus to arrest the rising number of non-payers). Wind power is also growing: Lake Turkana Wind Project just made a large order of turbines, while TransCentury is putting up a 50-megawatt wind plant in Limuru, Kiambu county.

5. If Telecoms Get Heavier Fines for Poor Service…

The Communications Authority of Kenya is looking to eradicate the current flat fee against Telecoms for failing to meet set quality standards in service provision and instead introduce a percentage based fine pegged to annual revenues. None of the four mobile operators in the country met the standards last year, which means that with more stringent fines, they are likely to hire quality control related staff. The CA intends to target calls as well as data, mobile money and infrastructure. There is a job in there for you if you know how to ask the right questions to the right people.

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