Douglas Evans

The word “job” is among the top three most searched words in Kenya; after Facebook and government.

If you Google “jobs in Kenya”, you will get about 9,700,000 results after 0.12 seconds!

Through the My Jobs In Kenya online portal, Douglas Evans, the portal’s Business and Operations Manager, wants to make job searching easier. He spoke to Carole Kimutai about the new job portal.

CK: How does work?

DE:The job portal is made with three kinds of people in mind: job seekers, employers, and recruitment agents.

The job seeker will be required to register with us and when a job they could be interested in is advertised, we alert them immediately via email or text. We even have a mobile-site to make it easier for them to navigate the site using their cell phones. The service is free for job seekers.

For employers looking to recruit, we have a database of people they can access. Once they (company) posts a vacancy, we send out alerts for people to apply. The site is able to screen people immediately once they start applying for the job online. This is to ensure the right people apply for the right job.

For example, it would be a waste of the company’s time to get a fresh graduate’s application for a senior management job that requires experience. The company also gets to place adverts on the website and customise a questionnaire for applicants. Companies pay USD5,500 annually for unlimited advertising.

For recruiting agents, we allow them to look through our database and they can pick candidates they feel are suitable for positions they want to fill for their clients.

CK: How long have you been in operation? And how many hits do you get?

DE: A little over three months now.  We have about 1,200 hits per day and 38,000 per month.

CK: How many people have registered on the portal? What kind of education do they have?

DE: 19,000 people have registered. 55% of them have at least a secondary education and 45% have a degree or a diploma.

CK: How many clients do you have so far?

DE:We have about 65 clients on the website who include multinationals, local companies and NGOs.

CK: What are the advantages of recruiting online?

DE: Online recruitment helps a company or HR department save on time and money. The first recruitment stage can be done online without having applications being sent to a company for short listing. If you are looking for a person with certain qualifications or experience in a certain field, the system can sieve applications.

However, there are certain positions we will not try to place - ours is to make the selection process less tedious.

CK: For companies looking to recruit online, what things should they consider?

DE: Look at the amount of money you are spending on recruitment. Secondly, are you getting the best people from your current method of recruitment? How do you manage solicited and unsolicited job applications?

What is your staff turn-over? Do you have a pool of qualified people you can replace with in case you lose a key member of staff? What time does it take to recruit?

CK: For a person looking for a job online, what should they have in mind?

DE: Job seekers can be those in school, fresh from school or in employment looking to change jobs. Have a clear career path to ensure you are applying for the right jobs.

Most people just apply for jobs randomly without thinking through what exactly they want, and why they want the job.

Secondly, have an accurate introduction highlighting what value you will add to the organisation.

Thirdly, customise your CV to the specific job you are interested in and ensure your CV has an introduction that sums up who you are and gives anyone interested in you, a mental picture of who you are.

CK: What makes Kenya an emerging market in the area on online recruitment?

DE: Kenyans are embracing technology at a very fast rate. They (Kenyans) are very active on Facebook and are accessing the interest more on their phones than their computers. Because of the cheap costs of data services, almost everyone with a phone can browse.

A basic phone in Kenya today can call, text and surf!

CK: How safe is the information on the portal?

DE: The server is based in South Africa, we have back ups and, all email addresses are coded.

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