Osa left the corporate headquarters of a popular GSM company in an ironic twist of gloom as he pondered on what he had just signed. Earlier in the day, he was pumped up and excited about the prospects of finally getting a job. Not just any job but with a top 4 telecom’s company. What he however did not expect was the name of the company on the letter head. Whilst the position he applied for remained the same, the employer was quite different. Unbeknownst to him, the company had outsourced the position he applied for to a third-party.
Nigerian companies in the last few years have been rapidly embracing a new way of hiring people. In a move often seen as deceptive they lure job seekers into believing that they will be working for a known brand only to hand them an offer in a letter head of another company. To most executive trainees, the feeling is quite surreal. You work in the same building, share offices together, join the staff bus and eat in the staff canteen yet you are not a staff.
HR practitioners interviewed inform Nairametrics that this model is getting increasingly common in Nigeria. Most organizations are getting smarter and looking for ways to cut cost. Unlike when you have to operate heavy human resource structures, businesses now operate a lean structure that will have them eliminate the burden of perks, entitlements and allowances that they typically will incur. It also helps them deal with the thorny issue of labor unions who they see as disruptive to their operations.
In-sourcing as it is commonly referred to is defined as bringing a third-party outsourcer to work inside a company’s facility. From what was being adopted a few years ago by large corporations, it is now widespread in Nigeria and cuts across industries. Most commercial banks have completely in-sourced their tellers and front office operations. Oil and Gas companies are thought to have pioneered this model over two decades ago and continue relying on it to hire and fire. The Telecom industry adopted this about 5 years into the GSM era and have continued to do so. More and more companies are relying on it as well with some outsourcing their entire sales team.
Whilst this is good for businesses it certainly does not favor job seekers and to a larger extent the Government. Since insourced staff of these companies are not full staff they expect no promotions and can remain in one salary band for years or as long as they are “contract staffs”. Nigerian labor law is still playing catch up in this regard and is not strong enough to curb excesses and executive recklessness.
For now, Osa has no choice but to accept the job offer, after all no one knows the name written on the letter head as employer was different from whom he said he worked for. Or so he thinks?