Aditi Baral, My Republica, November 12, 2109
57% of job seekers got recruited by contacting relatives, friends: Survey
KATHMANDU, Shuvam Khatri, 24, is working in a construction company as a logistic officer for the past four months.
His desperate hunt for a job to build a career in engineering sector almost went in vain until one of his uncles recommended him to the construction company he is currently working in.
Khatri, a graduate from Everest College said: “I wouldn't have got this job had it not been for my uncle. I know the way I got this job is not something to be proud of, but this is how our system works”.
However, Khatri is not the only one who has to struggle to find a job on his/her own. Over half of the unemployed people in Nepal try to enter into the job market with the help of friends or family members, a recent survey report of the Central Bureau of Statistics shows.
According to the Nepal Labor Force Survey FY2017/18, the most common job search method in Nepal is seeking a help of relatives and friends. At least 57% of those looking for work found job by contacting relatives and friends, according to the study report. This was followed by applications to prospective employers (11.6%). Only 4.7% took test or interviews and 4.5% answered to job advertisement to find a job, the report shows.
While most people argue that this number is brought up by a weak corporate culture and practices in our nation, economists attribute the referral practices in job searching to the huge share of informal economy in the country.
“This number is brought up by weakness in the formal job matching services in Nepal” Biswo Poudel, a senior economist, told Republica. According to Poudel, formal job matching services in Nepal is not strong and it still gives space to terms such as 'nepotism' and 'favoritism' when finding jobs. “Most of the employers in Nepal are informal ones who usually do not require formal job matching procedure," he added.
Nevertheless, in a country like ours informal sector generally serves as the alternative entry to employment when formal sector jobs are difficult to find. These jobs are like a stepping stone to formal sector for many.
Business leaders, however, say that the country's private sector is practicing hiring processes based on meritocracy and competence. “Personally, I believe that private sector is getting more corporate and their human resource (HR) set up filters people on the basis of their capabilities,” Aanand Agrawal, an executive committee member of Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI), told Republica.
“However, I won't deny the fact that in general a lot of people seek help from relatives and friends to find jobs,” added Agrawal, who is also a member of Employers' Council at the FNCCI. “I believe that with time this practice will slowly change into a reliable corporate culture not just in private sector but in other sectors as well.”
The survey also showed that only 0.2% of those looking for jobs were found applying for permit to start a business.
Meanwhile, the government is opening employment service centers at each local unit. These units will help unemployed people to find jobs and provide them with allowance in case they remain for a certain period.