Tech start-up Giraffe launches novel mobile app to help medium-skilled jobseekers find work and employers recruit staff
With the unemployment rate at 26%, and youth unemployment close to 50%, South Africa is expected to have the 8th worst jobless rate in the world in 2015, according to the International Labour Organisation.
Although this is driven primarily by sluggish economic growth that has yet to return pre-2007 crisis levels, it is exacerbated by limited access to opportunities for most South Africans- especially in the medium-skilled segment. Due to segregation from business areas, costly public transport and limited access to computers, jobseekers spend a significant amount of time and money to find a job. Typically, a jobseeker must print copies of their CV in an internet cafe, take a taxi to business areas and go door-to-door to submit their application- hoping that they get an interview. This process is both costly and ineffective. Employers, in turn, struggle to find good workers, often resorting to using recruitment agents or labour brokers to get staff, which significantly increases the cost of recruitment.
To address these problems, Giraffe has launched a new, free mobile job application that aims to connect medium-skilled jobseekers with opportunities. The app works on the most basic cellphone: jobseekers can register and create a CV by simply SMSing the keyword ‘myCV’ to 34345 and completing a basic form. Giraffe then sends the CV to a range of employers, based on their precise requirements, ensuring that only relevant CVs are matched with any given vacancy. Job opportunities are then sent to select, screened candidates by SMS, thus saving both jobseekers and employers considerable time and money in submitting and processing applications.
‘Although PC penetration is relatively low in South Africa, mobile penetration is more than 100%- on par with the developed world,’ said Shafin Anwarsha, Head of Product at Giraffe. ‘This means that we can harness the ubiquity of mobile to empower jobseekers with better access to opportunities.’
When asked how Giraffe's recruitment service differs from the numerous job portals in South Africa, Anwarsha stated, ‘Giraffe is not a job portal, nor are we a recruitment agency or labour broker. We’ve developed unique technology that is optimised for mobile and the medium-skilled segment, which enables targeted matching of candidates with opportunities, and even does automatic interview scheduling. Essentially we offer employers and HR departments all the features of a recruitment agent at a fraction of the price.’
The company has reported significant interest in its beta service- which it is offering for free for a limited period to selected employers in Gauteng- and says that it secured interviews for hundreds of jobseekers in the first week of launch.