Successful Nigerian Entrepreneur Uses Twitter To Discover Best Talent

F2FA August 25, 2015

Mark Essien

If you are looking for a new job and believe you are a “genius,” maybe you should apply for employment with, Nigeria’s largest hotel booking site, which is using novel means to make new hires, according to CNN.

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Uninspired by the applications he was receiving from jobseekers, CEO Mark Essien (pictured) decided to employ Twitter to unearth the type of applicants he is looking for.

But his line of questioning is nontraditional to say the least.

Essien explains, “On a whim I decided to try posting a job application on Twitter ‘only for geniuses.’ The task was to apply for an unspecified job in 10 words only. As it turned out, even though it was just 10 words, the quality of the applications was way better than all we had to date.”

The social media-savvy Essien ended up hiring Justin Irabor for his head of content marketing.

After critics complained that skilled writers had the leg up on on the rest of applicants, Essien and his team made sure his next set of questions were skewed toward those who are strong in operations.

Essien asked, “How do you create a bow that shoots arrows around corners?” And weeks later, he is already satisfied with his new hire, “[The new hire] knew very little about finance, but the theory turned out to be quite true: anyone smart enough will rapidly learn to handle things. Femi, the new hire, has increased the efficiency of the department from the low 70 percent to above 90 percent.”

In early August, Essien threw out his request for a “Detective and Pattern Matcher”:

  Essien says, “In looking for a ‘Detective and Pattern Matcher,’ I was looking for someone with a certain analytical ability. Apart from that, however, my ideal candidate was going to be someone who could identify trends and historical data, predict future outcomes and also suggest an improved outcome based on critical forward-thinking. “The first three questions I asked on Twitter were a kind of filter system — to ensure that only the people who could at least answer those first questions would receive my follow-up questions via e-mail.” Read Essien’s questions below:  


Explaining the answer to his third question, Essien says, “While specialization by definition implies that some people are better than others in doing one thing in particular, it would be inaccurate to say people are only good at one thing alone. However, there is ample evidence to show that some people are better at drawing up blueprints while some have their strengths in executing on blueprints.

“The architect who designed the Burj Al Arab — Tom Wright — imagined a hotel out in the sea with an artificial island and he drew a plan based on that but other people had to brainstorm how such a grand plan could come to fruition, e.g what kind of foundation to implement, protection against high winds etc.”

Watch a video on how Essien was able to develop and grow here:

Follow Essien here to find job openings.

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Last Edited by:Abena Agyeman-Fisher Updated: June 19, 2018


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