South African employment start-up Giraffe, which uses mobile phone technology to match people with work opportunities, has announced plans to expand its services across South Africa.
The company said on Thursday that it now has over 350 000 jobseekers on its platform — from about 100 000 a year ago — and will now expand to tier-two metros and rural areas, where unemployment is highest and where employers (Giraffe’s customers) struggle to recruit staff, said co-founder Shafin Anwarsha.
Giraffe’s automated recruitment service connects medium-skilled jobseekers (those that earn between R3 000-R15 000/month) with job opportunities and allows businesses to hire staff more quickly and at lower cost.
The service was first launched in Johannesburg in March 2015. It then expanded to Cape Town and Durban in mid-2016. It will now expand nationwide, initially in Mpumalanga, rural KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape.
Giraffe is backed by Silicon Valley venture capital fund Omidyar Network, which led a round of seed investment in March 2016. Since then, Giraffe has seen double-digit monthly revenue growth and now plans to expand its team of developers, salespeople and data analysts.
The company’s cellphone app, which doesn’t require a smartphone, allows jobseekers to create a CV on their phones for free. Giraffe then sends them job-seeking tips, skills assessments and work-readiness content, as well as job interview invitations by SMS.
Businesses looking for staff can submit a staff request on Giraffe’s website. Its algorithm automatically identifies suitable candidates, contacts them via SMS and schedules interviews at a time and place of the employer’s choosing. It claims that through this automation, it is more than 10 times cheaper and faster than other recruitment services.