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Recruitment Firm Connects South African Jobseekers to Jobs Using their Mobiles

South Africa was already in recession and struggling with record-high unemployment before the pandemic. In 2019, it had the world’s highest youth unemployment rate, at 56%, and Covid-19 has led to even more job losses. But Giraffe believes it can help those hit the hardest: unskilled and less educated workers. Founded in 2015 by Anish Shivdasani and Shafin Anwarsha, Giraffe has automated the recruitment process, from sourcing candidates to screening them. 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. Giraffe was built for mobile devices, which is how most South Africans primarily access the internet, explains Shivdasani. Smartphone penetration in the country has doubled from 2016 to 91% in 2019. Of those with internet access, around 60% use a mobile device. 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 $177 and $1,470 a month.” This income range represents about two-thirds of the total South African workforce, he adds. Giraffe is completely free for jobseekers, explains Shivdasani, and instead charges businesses to post jobs on its platform. It has worked with about 3,000 businesses and currently has one million jobseekers registered on its platform. Shivdasani estimates Giraffe reaches approximately 10 million jobseekers through partnerships with Facebook (FB) and Google (GOOG). Giraffe has even developed a voice note function that lets companies listen to applicants answering questions before inviting them to interview.