New bookshop coming in Ghana?

I do buy one Ghanaian newspaper every day – the Daily Graphic – but I skim through at least one or two others – in a work context. And once in a while I will look at some of those that have websites which are regularly updated.

I have to admit that I don’t really read the Daily Graphic. I skim through the news, reading one or two stories or articles, and then settle in to take a look at the daily crop of adverts which usually take up a large portion of this newspaper.

During the last week I’ve seen two full page ads for a new bookshop with branches which is recruiting staff and due to open in September 2011. As usual there is no indication of the name of the company or the specific physical locations.  All applications are to be sent via email, but again the email is a webmail address.

I have to admit that this is one of my “beefs” about recruitment here.  Why is it so difficult to indicate the name of the company looking for staff?  I have been told that it has to do with preventing applicants from personally lobbying, or coming in huge numbers to make enquiries or submit applications.  But this happens even when a recruitment agency is being used!  I would have thought companies would rather want potential employees to know that they are looking for staff, to encourage applications that are targetted and relevant, rather than those which are generic, and probably not at all suitable.   I also think there is a lack of transparency which may reflect on the institutions themselves.

Apologies for this slight digression into the realm of human resources recruitment.

Back to the subject of new bookshops, I am curious about this new enterprise, as the advert indicates there will be branches in Accra, Kumasi, Takoradi, Tamale, Obuasi and Cape Coast. First question:  is it really a new shop? or just an old one re-inventing itself?  Where is its physical location in Accra?

And there is a full complement of staff required – at least for the front facing aspects of the business: bookshop managers, customer service managers, academic sales reps, commission sales executives and sales attendants – though no mention of back office support personnel such as those involved in finance, warehousing, etc…  But surely there must be a contact for the company?  But again, nothing.

Naturally as a book buyer I am intrigued. I buy quite a few books for my personal use – as I have testified to on occasion, and should do a bit more. Plus I am always on the lookout for new sources for work as we do a fair bit of procurement of texts and other supplementary readings for tertiary level students.

So I am still wondering:  what will be the orientation of this new bookshop?  Will it be concentrating on an academic market – or more at the basic and secondary level?  Will there be children’s books?  What about fiction?  What about books on Ghana and/or by Ghanaians?  What about other African books?

Many questions, and not many answers… I guess I have to be patient.


3 thoughts on “New bookshop coming in Ghana?

  1. My happiness has whittled into nothingness. Since I started looking out for job, I have observed what you just talked about. I attended an interview and the kind of people conducting the interview broke my heart. It was like they really weren’t sure what they were looking for. The organisating fronting for them was located in some obscure suburb in Accra. Later, whilst there we head everything was a charade – mere formality for the position had already been filled.

    Yes, I wanted to know if it was going to concentrate on stationery, which seem to be the stronghold of most ‘bookshops’ in Ghana.

  2. Patience is a virtue.

    I’m sure if you thought hard enough, you could come up with a couple of other reasons why a company might not include its name in a job advertisement. Here’s one: particularly in a specialised industry such as bookselling (well, in Ghana, anyway), a company’s name and reputation amongst its customer and workforce communities is important. If a recruiting company puts their logo at the top of the advertisement, receives 100 applications, and is not adequately resourced to courteously notify 90+ applicants that they will not be proceeding further in the process, is that likely to worsen the company’s reputation? I suggest that it would.

    Here’s another reason: If the company is planning an expansion of refocus of their business, and is recruiting in advance of that move, do they want to give their competitors 2 or 3 months notice of who, when, and where? Not necessarily.

    Here’s one more: Working environments and back-office HR issues are things that companies generally prefer to keep in the back-office. If the salary of a position is included in the advertisement, it could potentially attract derision from others in the industry if it is below the benchmark for whatever reason. Twenty or fifty words in a job advertisement aren’t always enough to communicate the nature of the company, the nature of the role, and where salary fits into that. Some companies prefer to do these things in an interview environment, and believe it gets them candidates that are a better fit.

    But yes, a stickybeak who has no intention of applying for the company’s jobs… of course they have your casual interests as their #1 priority 🙂

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