If ever I was to give an advertising class, I would definitely use Ikulile Initiative Enterprise advert in the Post on 17 August 2015 as an example of how not to advertise. For a company that wants to recruit individuals it really has an idea of what type of candidates they are looking for. They just fell short of providing a sketch of what the preferred employee should look like. Perhaps the most disturbing thing of this job advertisement is the PA to the CEO position that stated that "Preferably a white lady". Now I am definitely sure this was not affirmative action that people talk about. This has sparked social media into an uproar but is it necessary?
I am sure that Ikulile must by now have realised this was a grave error, but let me just imagine why the PA to the CEO should preferably be a white lady. The first theory is that the CEO thinks a black, brown, yellow, purple or green lady is not as competent as the white lady. Second theory, the CEO who I am presuming is white does not want to work with any other person outside his race. Third theory is that the CEO wanted to ensure some diversity into the work environment. My fourth and final theory is that the person who wrote the advertisement did not have the write vocabulary to write the advert appropriately. Therefore, instead of saying preferably female they meant females are encouraged to apply or instead of white lady it should have been.... Okay I have no alternative for this one. None of these theories warrant the placing of the advertisement.
This advert has disgusted many people on social media making their anger known. They have vented their annoyance on all know social media platforms. They have called for the crucifixion of the company that placed the advert. They have called upon the labour officers, the minister of the Ministry of Labour and even the president to do something about it. On the other hand, I am failing to get offended. I am trying so hard to join the band wagon of condemnation of this advert but my emotions are not just been stirred. The reason is not that I condone the wording of the advert but rather whether this is even a genuine company worth my anger. There are many question marks that cause me to doubt the authenticity of this company, if anything it might be a scam. I highlight the reasons below:
- Email address- firstname.lastname@example.org. Most companies worth their salt will not be using gmail as their official email address.
- It wants to offer housing empowerment to civil servants and ordinary Zambians. So civil servants are some extraordinary Zambians? They are clearly targeting civil servants who have a steady flow of monthly income.
- The estate development fee of K20,000 (minimum) is rather suspicious. Is it for the advisory services or the building materials. They state after all that they are a construction advisory services enterprise.
- All job positions have preferably female not older than 35 or 40 years old. Any reason why this company is so keen on having only females below a certain age? They might want the females to lure potential male customers to the business and few would suspect them to be dishonest.
- Then the preferably white lady. This is a clear indication of the credibility of the management, if there is any at all.
- It then states 'Bring your CV to the mentioned address before 28th August 2015. Note: Interview upon CV presentation'. For some of the high positions they are recruiting for, it is rather odd that you will have the interview immediately.
Based on the suspicious reasons I have raised, I find it difficult to be fuming over the advert. It is just not worth the energy. On the other hand, had this been a proper well established company then the frustration in me would have hulkalised, but until then I will save it for another day.