Kenyans are up in arms against Royal Media Services, the giant media house which hosts a number broadcasting stations including Citizen TV and Radio. I sought to know why and it didn’t take long for me to empathize with my countrymen. Something was very wrong somewhere;
Royal Media Services has been running “steroid laden” job adverts on available vacancies for sales agents across all the counties. They are planning to recruit at most 15 sales agents across the 47 counties on an 8 months contract. Up to that point it all sounded legal, logical and ethical.
Because of the power of the adverts and the media house’s wider reach across the nation, many job seekers got information about the opportunities and went online to apply. That is when everything ceased being royal. They had to pay Kes 1000 as application fee. Yes, Kes 1000. Now you know how that feels.
You are looking for a job so that you can be liquid in your pockets yet some giant media house decides that before you secure the same job, you must pay them first for creating it and showing it to you. This is before they even invite you for an interview. RMS reminds me of the unscrupulous rental house brokers in Nairobi. They will always demand you pay upfront the viewing fee whether the house is there or not.
You could by now be wondering with me whether this was the year that God almighty perfectly placed our beloved nation in his radar of punishment. Man!! We have had it all.We have gone through unbearable moments, count them one by one.
I know its pure madness but then I realized this is my land, my Kenya. Tender based companies have been paid before delivering and for not delivering at all any goods and services. At least RMS have jobs for the cash, you know!!
My emotional firecrackers went ballistic on seeing what a “respectable” media house was doing to Kenyans who have made it so popular. But then I realized there was a bigger mission ahead of me for which I have been reserving all my energies and feelings. .
Remember baba’s New Year resolution – the 2017 tear gas Monday editions, yeah that one. It’s back and it’s bigger. I need all my feelings and energy for those series. Energy to tell Jubilee to let the dead rest in peace and not force them to vote in 2017. I know my verbal emissions and related activities then will be so dangerous to Jubilee, so they will order the cops to bath me and team CORD in some vanilla flavored tear gas That is when all my feelings will come into play. I have to keep them safe till then.
Back to the RMS monkey business. Meanwhile I decided to be different. Instead of complaining I took an analytical tangent and decided to help Kenyans understand just why “Royal Media Services” (I feel something in my throat every time I refer to it as Royal – I will ask one of the parliamentary committees to find out if the “throat feeling” is something good or bad) so badly needs this money like those tender guys in government. May be after this you will run back to your gadgets and proceed with the application process and let Mpesa do the talking with your potential employer.
1. The sales agents need a pay assurance upfront and RMS needs a new revenue stream as well – it’s business, nothing personal
RMS has a genius Human Resources team who have come up with a great year end recruitment and employee retention strategy. That is “Accumulate their salaries from a million applicants before you get few of them on board” A very efficient strategy.
Because of the massive advertisement, they target a wider pool of applicants. The timing is very good since most Universities and colleges have just had graduations in the last quarter of 2016 thus massive numbers of Kenyans looking for jobs are out there. One requirement is sweetly standing out –you should have either a diploma or a degree. This widens the target pool. Anything works here, you know!!
Let’s do the math now because its simple:
No of potential applicants = 150,000 pax
Total amount of application fee – 150,000 * 1000 = 150,000,000
Probable No of sales agents in all counties (after recruitment, if it will be done) – 15*47 = 705 pax
Total Salary for 8 months for all sales agents – (705*15,000)8 = 84,600,000 (worked with a conservative salary figure of Kes 15,000 per staff/ month)
Remaining cash after the 8 months period – 150,000,000 – 84,600,000
= 65,400,000 (lets call this RMS’s profit from recruitment activity)
Conclusion: Good business and bonus on the way for the HR team. As a new revenue stream, it is still on trial phase but due to its projected success it could be implemented in forthcoming recruitment as well and other organizations can also adopt it especially when doing graduate recruitment programs.
If you get employed be guaranteed of your salary till the end of the contract period since you already paid it upfront before you started the job.
Maybe this is a new system that we should embrace as a country to deal with unemployment. Pay yourself your salary upfront but let the employer keep it for you then start the jobs and you will not worry about money.
Kulipa application fee upfront ni kujitegemea!!. I love the slogan.
2. Adverts cost money, or what did you think?
Remember RMS is a business entity selling media space and/or airtime. The way that advert has been hitting our screens tells you that it’s very important. It was scheduled for the prime hours. Well if that is the case then it’s only fair that those who liked it and responded in a manner to prove so, pay for the expenses.
I believe RMS Marketing and communications team advised the management against the use of cheap and free job blogs. The danger of brand association is real. RMS would suffer irredeemable damages brand-wise by partnering with such funny job platforms.
So as you apply for the coveted sales agents role, kindly do the transaction since the media house used its “airtime” to reach out to you. In fact they have really subsidized the cost. You know. You could have been charged like that coca cola advert.
RMS si ya mama yako bwana, just ask Governor Rutto
3. The recruitment agency is not philanthropic enough bwana!!
Again I thought and analysed. May be RMS have engaged the services of a recruitment agency like the ones other organizations in their league normally engage when head hunting. You need to know that RMS ‘s core business is media and not HR thus the need to outsource its none-core functions to reputable firms.
For business independence and risk management purposes, the two parties signed a non-disclosure agreement where RMS committed not to mention the recruiter in the advert. But they are the ones running the show. Like the guy who commanded the cops to be stationed around parliament buildings, you never see him but you feel him.
So maybe, just maybe it is part of the business deal that instead of RMS paying the recruiter, the recruiter will simply charge “a very small fee” of Kes 1000, per applicant. Now you see how it comes to that. Since the recruiter will have to manually verify every application detail (to avoid any technical error. Even some of our MP’s and CS Mucheru have advised against over reliance on technology) which will consume lots of time, they have levied a rate per applicant. So just pay and proceed with the application.
The recruitment team will be greatly motivated by the positive response from applicants across the counties.
4. Why remain behind when the lottery and betting wave is sweeping across Kenya?
I’m certain in the recent past you have found yourself in a joint where guys were talking about Sportpesa and that jackpot thing. I have been part of this conversation very many times. There always is this jamaa who has the latest figures in billions of what Sportpesa makes whenever Arsenal loose or when Man united draw. The figures are astronomical.
Now, I think RMS strategic business think tank unit have also heard this conversation more than once. Being the proactive media house, their commercial acumen juices started rolling as they wondered how they would also tap into these billions that are flying everywhere. Kenyans love betting. Just promise them a jackpot in any form like sales agents jobs.
Then they might have gotten this idea; Create a job vacancy, create an advert about it, Get a deep voiced guy to do the voice over (whatever that means), sound professional, make it tangible, target the masses, make it cheap – Kes 1000 ain’t bad after all. Announce it, announce it and announce it again. Announce it every day till 31 December 2016. Remind the masses what it would be like to work for a giant media house and be part of that great family. Show them you are the employer of choice. Remind the masses when they get the job, then Kenya wins. Hooraaay!!!!
If Sportpesa, Lotto, Pambazuka, mCheza et al are making it, why not RMS. After all they have not forced anyone. Kwani who typed the citizentv.co.ke url on your gadgets ‘address bar? Who clicked on announcements tab? Then………
5. Let’s hit the 2016 revenue target – the deadline is 31 Dec 2016
Well it happens to many other businesses that at the beginning of the financial year teams are given revenue targets. RMS is no difference. As things would turn out in certain instances, the deadline comes faster than the revenues and this might just be what has happened to a particular team or someone in RMS. And this is someone who can make tough entrepreneurial decisions like coming up with a creative way to realize a target close to the deadline. Someone whose ingenuity beats all and incorporates all Kenyan job seekers in the plan. Someone who created job vacancies and used the creative opportunity to generate bucks that will ensure all targets are met before 31 December 2016
Someone in RMS may just need to hit their 2016 revenue target and that person knows very well where to get the cash.
Wait, before I give you another possible reason why RMS needs the Kes 1000, I realized something strange. That the anger out there is short lived. Typical of Kenyans. When we see someone busy in their craft, we get annoyed. We vent it out on social media, We make it political. We turn it tribal and abuse each other, like real abuses since we got talent. Then we remind each other of which tribe owns the business and which tribe will be employed. After a short time we shut up feeling very wise after “protecting” our people. We move on with life as we wait for another great opportunity to showcase our great talent, the Kenyan style.
Upon revisiting this thought I decided to stop there. Even the president confessed his inability to tackle corruption. Why then should I be the one to give you all possible reasons why Bwana Macharia needs your small pocket change, Ngai!! kwani mimi ni nani?
At least I have dissected a bit of this quagmire and helped you understand why our one and only Royal Media Services need your little Kes 1000. Giving them or not giving them is your choice because kazi yako inaanza na wallet yako.
I’m off to see CS Matiang’i so that we can discuss the educational qualification requirements for the sales agents’ job vacancies.I sincerely hope all applicants will have their rightly acquired high school and college grades besides the application fees. I hope so juu roundi hii si mchezo.