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Tech start-up develops bot for employers, job-seekers

Read time 3min 50sec
Ejoobi co-founder Simangele Mphahlele.
Ejoobi co-founder Simangele Mphahlele.

Local technology start-up Ejoobi is developing an Internet bot that it says will make the recruitment process easier for job-seekers and prospective employers.

Ejoobi is a relatively new technology platform that allows job-seekers in rural areas, without Internet access, to send their CVs to recruiters via SMS or USSD.

The bot will allow prospective companies to screen job-seekers’ CVs for jobs, while providing a simplified template on which job-seekers can compile their CVs. The bot will be available in October.

Ejoobi was co-founded by husband and wife Moses and Simangele Mphahlele. The company officially started placing people for jobs in March and is based in Midrand. It has since helped 30 people to secure jobs.

The company says the bot will allow prospective employers, who pay for the service, to upload questions for job-seekers, so that they can be screened according to their skills and experience. The bot will then rank candidates and supply the list to the client.

For job-seekers, the bot will compile questions and allow candidates to provide a professional summary of their skills, biographical information and experience, which will all form the basis of a CV.

These resultant CVs will be e-mailed to the prospective employer and also stored on the Ejoobi platform. Job-seekers will be able to edit the CV.

Simangele says one of the reasons Ejoobi developed the bot was because it discovered some job-seekers couldn’t compile a CV.

“We used to hold workshops around Gauteng and Limpopo. We have trained more than 3 000 job-seekers on how to write a CV. We modelled our bot on how we would run the workshop. The types of questions job-seekers will be asked by the bot to compile their CV are the ones that must be on a CV.”

Ejoobi’s current system allows job-seekers to send their CVs using an SMS, WhatsApp or USSD code. They must first upload their CVs on the Ejoobi platform online before using the SMS option.

When the CV has been uploaded, job-seekers can apply for jobs by sending an SMS or WhatsApp message to the Ejoobi platform, which will send their CVs to the prospective employer on their behalf. They can also search for jobs using Ejoobi USSD code 350130.

The jobs that can be applied for on the platform are entry-level positions, learnerships and internships. Qualifications of candidates range from grade 10 to national diplomas. The company also caters for people living with disabilities.

To send an SMS to the platform in order for it to be forwarded to a prospective employer costs R2. To search for jobs using the USSD code costs R1.50 per minute.

Simangele says when the company was established, the husband and wife team didn’t want to develop an app as there are too many such apps.

“We developed a platform that will allow job-seekers who are struggling with money to buy data. The SMS system is cheaper to use. We created a platform that everyone can reach at any time, as long as they have a little bit of airtime, and they can use any device.”

Simangele says Ejoobi provides prospective employers with different packages for recruiting candidates, depending on their needs.

“Our model for prospective employers is ‘pay as you use’. The employers will pay a subscription, depending on what they want to use. They can choose to screen, source or match candidates. They can also choose to buy the whole suite. Our prices range from R150 to R2 000.”

She adds that the company now caters for any job-seeker around South Africa.

“We initially catered for job-seekers that were in rural areas that didn’t have Internet access until we realised that even in urban areas, even though there might be Internet cafés available, you will find they are closed when you need them, or their Internet connection is slow.”

Ejoobi works with different types of companies looking for job candidates, including recruiters.

“We have seen that our platform can add value at different levels of hiring. We also help companies that don’t have human resources departments. While we [currently] only have three companies as our clients, we hope to grow and gain traction.”

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