A New Life in Nigeria
John Avberhota was recruited by G4S at the Careers in Africa London Recruitment Summit in May 2010. We caught up with him to find out how his life is going back in Nigeria.
Background: MRes degree in International Human Resource Management, Metropolitan University; MA degree in International Human Resource Management, University of North London; BSc degree in Biochemistry, University of North London
As HR Director for G4S Nigeria, I provide all HR services across the organisation. This includes providing the leadership framework and direction for the organisational change management; defining and delivering the management development programmes; expatriation and repatriation management; compensation and benefits; employee relations; coaching; performance management; learning and development; health and safety; salary review and recruitment and selection.
How did you find out about Careers in Africa?
Through a friend of mine who works for BP. I registered online and uploaded my employment details and CV on the Careers in Africa website.
What happened at the Summit in 2010? How many interviews did you have?
The Summit was a great first experience for me. I met so many fellow Africans from countries stretching from up north to down south.
With regards to interviews, I received an email from Careers in Africa that three companies wanted to interview me for a senior HR position and one of them happened to be G4S Nigeria. The details for the interviews, including information on the companies were then provided and from there, I started researching the companies via their websites, and getting prepared for the interviews.
What happened after the Summit?
After the Summit, I received feedback from two out of the three companies and it was a 50/50 (i.e. successful and not successful) outcome. The successful feedback was from G4S Nigeria and the rest was history. The other company said that I was over-qualified for the position, but would keep me in mind for the future.
How are you finding life back in Nigeria?
Life in Nigeria has been great. The culture and general attitude of the people has really enabled me to integrate into the working environment without feeling a sudden culture shock, having worked in the UK for over 15 years.
What would you say to anyone thinking of applying to Careers in Africa?
Go for it! I was really impressed with how helpful the team was. However, anyone who is thinking of relocating to Africa should consider the move carefully and discuss it with their family and friends. They must be willing to be extremely flexible in their working style upon arrival to Africa: you have to adjust to the traffic issues on the road, power cuts in the house or office, or the emails might be down and your supplier has run out of fuel. This can take some getting used to at first!
On the whole, it is a fantastic environment to work in and one cannot help but feel the buzz of direct impact you will be contributing towards the business as there is really a strong working ethic in Nigeria.