An app to boost em­ploy­ment

Mo­bile app re­cruit­ment so­lu­tion Gi­raffe is mak­ing it cheaper and eas­ier for job­seek­ers to find suit­able em­ploy­ment.

Finweek English Edition - - THE WEEK - Ed­i­to­rial@fin­

mo­bile app re­cruit­ment so­lu­tion Gi­raffe is a plat­form where em­ploy­ers can re­cruit staff faster and cheaper than any other way, and medi­um­skilled job­seek­ers (earn­ing be­tween R3 000 to R12 000 a month) can use their cell­phones to look for em­ploy­ment, as op­posed to go­ing door-to-door and drop­ping off their CVs or trawl­ing through job sites.

“Since nearly ev­ery­one has a cell­phone, why not use [them] to re­duce the un­em­ploy­ment rate?” says CEO Anish Shiv­dasani.

Gi­raffe, which cur­rently op­er­ates in Jo­han­nes­burg and Pre­to­ria, was co-founded by Shiv­dasani and his busi­ness part­ner Shafin An­war­sha, and was of­fi­cially launched in Fe­bru­ary 2015. The duo was work­ing on a project for a con­sul­tancy that spe­cialises in tele­coms and dig­i­tal al­most two years ago when they de­cided to ven­ture into the mo­bile tech start-up route. Shortly af­ter that, Gi­raffe was born.

The thought process be­hind the idea was to cre­ate a plat­form that would en­able job­seek­ers to cre­ate their CVs on their cell­phones. Af­ter do­ing this, the job­seek­ers would then have job op­por­tu­ni­ties that suit their education and qual­i­fi­ca­tions sent to them via SMS, ex­plains Shiv­dasani.

The blue-col­lar job­seek­ers would in­clude cashiers, wait­ers, shop as­sis­tants, fac­tory work­ers, con­struc­tion work­ers and drivers. White-col­lar em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties would in­clude po­si­tions such as call cen­tre agents, re­cep­tion­ists, ju­nior ad­min­is­tra­tive staff, en­try level ac­coun­tants and book­keep­ing staff, data cap­tur­ers and sales­peo­ple.

How it works

Em­ploy­ers seek­ing medium-skilled work­ers are able to regis­ter with Gi­raffe and fill out a sim­ple staff re­quest form. In the form they state the type of op­por­tu­ni­ties they have, the num­ber of em­ploy­ees they are seek­ing, the qual­i­fi­ca­tions re­quired, job lo­ca­tion and the salary be­ing of­fered.

“It takes three min­utes to com­plete this form,” says Shiv­dasani.

While job­seek­ers use the ser­vice free of charge, po­ten­tial em­ploy­ers load job ad­verts on the Gi­raffe app at a fee, which is how this tech start-up earns rev­enue. To match a po­ten­tial em­ployee with an em­ployer, the Gi­raffe app uses soft­ware con­tain­ing an al­go­rithm that au­to­mat­i­cally searches through the data­base and matches suit­able can­di­dates to the cri­te­ria spec­i­fied by the po­ten­tial em­ployer. The app will in­form peo­ple of job op­por­tu­ni­ties close to their homes, which Shiv­dasani says proves cost­ef­fec­tive since can­di­dates do not have to spend a lot of money on com­mut­ing to and from work. “This means job­seek­ers have more dis­pos­able in­come and are there­fore more likely to stick with the job for longer – which is great for the em­ployer as well,” he says.

Shiv­dasani says what’s dif­fer­ent about the Gi­raffe app is that, un­like tra­di­tional re­cruit­ment agen­cies, it saves the can­di­dates time and money be­cause the match be­tween em­ployee and em­ployer hap­pens via the mo­bile plat­form. And un­like many other agen­cies and re­cruiters, Gi­raffe doesn’t deduct money from users’ salaries af­ter they’ve found a job. The Gi­raffe soft­ware elim­i­nates the need for hu­man in­ter­ac­tion be­tween re­cruit­ment agent and a po­ten­tial can­di­date. “Nor­mally a re­cruit­ment agency uses man­ual pro­cesses to source, screen and con­tact can­di­dates. But be­cause we use a ma­chine to do all this, it’s over ten times cheaper and faster than a nor­mal re­cruit­ment agent. You can get can­di­dates within 48 hours.” Another ad­van­tage is that Gi­raffe has a greater reach than many re­cruit­ment agen­cies, given the num­ber of can­di­dates on its data­base, Shiv­dasani adds.

“There’s no short­age of peo­ple look­ing for a job, but find­ing the right per­son for the job is what is chal­leng­ing for em­ploy­ers,” he says. “[Reg­is­ter­ing] on your cell­phone as a job­seeker is com­pletely free. The CV goes onto the Gi­raffe data­base, and then you re­ceive an SMS invit­ing you for a con­crete in­ter­view.”

Match­ing can­di­dates re­ply “yes” for a job in­ter­view and a sec­ond SMS in­forms them of the time and place of the in­ter­view.

The app cur­rently has over 100 000 reg­is­tered mem­bers look­ing for jobs. Shiv­dasani says more than 20 000 peo­ple have been in­vited to in­ter­views ar­ranged via the app. From th­ese in­ter­views, ap­prox­i­mately 1 000 peo­ple have re­ceived jobs.

What’s dif­fer­ent about the Gi­raffe app is that, un­like tra­di­tional re­cruit­ment agen­cies, it saves time and money for the can­di­dates.

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