March 28, 2014


When interviewed, the Kenyan people think that nepotism & corruption are the biggest barriers in their search for better jobs.

What’s also interesting, and not surprising, is that government employees enjoy the greatest job satisfaction.

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Interviewees say ‘nepotism & corruption’ biggest barriers in workplace

Interviewees say ‘nepotism & corruption’ biggest barriers in workplace

Employed Nairobi residents are actively searching for jobs in pursuit of better pay (35.8%) and job security (22.1%), a new survey has revealed. According to the survey; Employment Survey 2014- Understanding Job seekers’ Priorities, the two values are the most significant to workers followed closely by a better match to their skills and aspirations and a good working environment. The study also indicates that 60% of those currently employed will search for a new job in the year 2014.

The survey also revealed that the informal sector has the majority of jobs but the opportunities do not appeal to the youth as the sector is among other things characterized by job insecurity, poor wages and terms and conditions of employment, absence of institutionalized social protection mechanisms, weak safety and health standards, and low job tenure.

Ironically, even though the private sector is reported to be the major employer in Kenya, employing 51.8% of the survey’s respondents, employees in the private sector are the least satisfied with their jobs as the survey observes.

The most satisfied with their employment are parastatal/government employees (89.3%), followed by NGO employees (79.2%), self-employed (65.8%) and, lastly, private sector employees (54.8%).

High satisfaction in the workplace among parastatal/Government employees has been attributed to better terms, less work load and flexible working hours among others.


Nepotism and corruption (33.7%), both vices that are very rampant in the country, take the lead among the reasons that job seekers believe have made it difficult for them to secure jobs; followed by few job opportunities (17.4%), level of qualifications (13.9%), lack of skills, experience and aspirations (7.8%).


According to the survey the growing proportion of self-employed individuals signifies low levels of economic development and warns that the trend could generate more vulnerable employment.

“The relatively low and declining proportion of wage and salaried workers in Kenya signifies low levels of economic development. The high proportion of the self-employed indicates a deficit of decent employment opportunities in the country. The self-employed and the unpaid family workers have a lower likelihood of having formal work arrangements, and are more likely to lack elements associated with decent employment such as adequate social security and social protection and a voice at work.” reads a section of the study.


The study maintains that skills mismatch is a key antecedent to youth employment in Kenya and that majority of the job seekers lack appropriate skills and this limits their participation in the labour market. It recommends for the unemployed to improve their skills and qualifications in order to attract higher levels of compensation and also advices employers to consider providing better incentives and more job security to their employees in order to retain them.

Corporate Staffing Services Limited commissioned ADREC Limited to carry out the Job Seekers’ Survey in Nairobi County. The survey was conducted between December 2013 and January 2014 in the eight sub-counties.

A total of 386 respondents were interviewed face-to-face.


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