In 2014, a certain NGO sent me a job to advertise for the position of Front Office administrator. I remember it was on a Thursday morning when I posted on my website. The job had a salary tag of Ksh 80,000 per month plus other attractive benefits.
I won’t forget that day-within one hour I had received over 1,000 applications. In two weeks I received 30,000 applications for a single position; I don’t know whether the applicants knew the position was that competitive.
I have also heard similar cases from human resource managers who complain of receiving thousands of applications; not only from Kenya but also from countries like India. Some companies even go ahead to give a deadline of 2 hours from the time they post the job.
There is information out there that Non-Governmental Organizations and United Nations are the best employers in the country, so every Kenyan dreams of working with one of them.
It is indeed true that these two places offer the best salaries and perfect working conditions. I happen to know several people who work at United Nations office in Kenya. One of my friends holds a Masters Degree in Project management. When he joined United Nations in 2013, his starting salary was Ksh 600,000 plus other benefits. He surprised more by stating that he is not TAXED. Who in his right mind will fail to die for this position!
I have also managed to conduct research on various Non-Governmental Organizations in the country. I realized that despite these institutions having the best package, they also have other benefits which those who are not close enough will not discover. For instance, an Individual with a simple undergraduate degree earns over Ksh 150,000 per month in OXFAM. This is more than twice the starting salary of a bank cashier.
As many graduates continue receiving information about the good terms in the NGO industry, the more the scramble for few opportunities available in the job market. At the end of the day, it becomes so hard to join NGO unless you start as a volunteer and grow with time.
I actually understand that United Nations offer internship annually, not just in Kenya but globally. Most of the individuals who join the program end up working for United Nations on a long term basis. The program is also very competitive because those who are lucky to join are paid monthly upkeep of over Ksh 80, 000, which is even more than what some senior employees earn in some banks in Kenya.
Joining NGO and UN has therefore become a life and death scenario among many Kenyans. Which is something taht should be looked at by the Government and private sector in the country.