You are in a social setting, having casual conversations with friends when the news of a job-fair reached your ears. Or you laid your eyes on an ad in your campus notice board that opened your eyes to start your venture of discovering yourself and making yourself discovered by a potential employer. Even better, you get a phone call from your favorite job-board about a fair that you may need to check it out. The issue is not only being hired, said Bezawit Demissie, one of the attendees, going through the whole process to see who is in the market, who you are competing with and networking with others who share the same frustration and excitement of job search was an insightful experience.


The Heineken job-fair took place from the 14-16 August 2015 at the Addis Ababa University School of Commerce. Heineken initiated the need for recruitment of young talented professionals to its team and also as part of the Heineken Global system. It put its needs on the table with ethiojobs to manage the process for the first round. According to a Heineken official, the need to outsource the service to ethiojobs came in naturally, since it is the well-known recruitment company in Ethiopia.


The fair was aimed at attracting as many fresh graduates as possible. At the end around 1200 job seekers, mostly of fresh graduates attended the three days event. The process started with the first day of screening, which included general aptitude questions, personal presentation and comprehension skills. At the end of the first day, around 550 of the potential candidates were qualified for the second round of the formal interview. This stage was much more intensive including subject matter interviews by the panel of interviewers. The second day was expected to filter the number further down into 350 individuals. According to the final count, out of the 350 finalists, around 115 are accounting and management trainees, while the remaining are for engineering. The third day of the fair was set for written exam that was comprised of logical and subject matter questions.


Saron Negash, the other attendee of the fair expressed her impression that ‘it was very clear from the onset that it was a serious hire, that the screening, the interview and the written exam proved that they wanted to make sure they are taking nothing but the best. That I think is a lesson to push job seekers to aim to reach their excellence’.


Mass hiring initiates the idea of job-fairs. The Heinken job fair started from having the list of registered fresh graduates on, the newly launched sister company of ethiojobs. The designated official contacted all those in the list and invited them to come to the fair, the process took a while, but a week before the fair all in the database of Dereja received the invitation. In addition to that, a newspaper ad was commissioned to notify interested job seekers.


Having registered in job-boards like Ethiojobs and are of significant starting points says Bezawit. It is easy and less costly, that you register online ones; you will be contacted for anything that fits your skills and expectations like the Heineken job-fair. The rest is your activity- is the message she has for other fresh graduates or otherwise, if they did not do it already. Natnael Girma also shares his opinion that opportunities come knocking at your doors, and you need to grab them and make them into something worthwhile. Therefore, he said, ‘I strongly recommend others to proactively take part in such events’.

By Helen Yosef Hailu