After months of being ignored by recruiters in her home country of South Africa, the economics graduate began using a recruitment website called Giraffe. Compared to the experience of being “ghosted” by other recruiters, Zondani says getting guidance every step of the way was like “a breath of fresh air,” and she eventually landed a job with an insurance company.
Where jobseekers would usually apply for positions on paper or in person, they can now upload their résumé to the online platform, and an algorithm will match them with relevant jobs.
While other job portals and recruitment agencies often target high-skilled jobseekers, Shivdasani says Giraffe’s focus is primarily on entry to mid-level jobs.
“We really target the mass segment of the market,” Shivdasani tells CNN Business. “We define it as salaries between 3,000 and 25,000 rand ($177 to $1,470) a month.”
This income range represents about two-thirds of the total South African workforce, he adds.
Shivdasani and Anwarsha met while working as strategy consultants in the telecoms industry. Shivdasani says he had always dreamed of building a platform to solve social problems in South Africa. In brainstorming where to start, he realized that unemployment was at the core of many of them. “We felt that unemployment is probably the biggest problem in South Africa,” he says.
Giraffe is completely free for jobseekers, explains Shivdasani, and instead charges businesses to post jobs on its platform.
Giraffe has even developed a voice note function that lets companies listen to applicants answering questions before inviting them to interview. “It’s a combination of matching, screening and voice clips, which sets us apart from other platforms,” Shivdasani says.
South Africa’s structural challenges
Vimal Ranchhod, an economics professor at the University of Cape Town, says skills development with the help of platforms like Giraffe is one way to assist young people.