Local online recruitment initiative is the largest co-ordinated drive to tackle youth unemployment

Acquisition offers low-cost, self-service, contactless recruitment for youth.

Unemployment remains one of the biggest challenges in the country – with youth unemployment being of particular concern. South Africa’s youth unemployment rate is often cited as being one of the worst in the world.

The lack of access to job opportunities as well as the high cost of data and lack of ICT infrastructure in townships and rural areas further exacerbates the problems that youth face when trying to secure employment.

In 2019, the Siyakha Youth Assets for Employability Study found that young South Africans spend on average R938 a month looking for work, including transport (R558), internet access (R380), printing, application fees, agents’ fees and even money for bribes.

Mobile recruitment platform Giraffe is an automated job matching platform that focuses on entry level and mid-skill jobs. The mobile app enables jobseekers to make a CV on their cell phone for free, take educational courses and apply for jobs, and is zero-rated on all major cell phone networks.

For employers, the contactless recruitment platform automatically screens candidates based on their criteria and enables them to listen to candidate voice clips before deciding to interview and hire them.

Since its launch more than five years ago, Giraffe has attracted more than one million jobseekers and thousands of employers, connecting around half a million work seekers with potential job opportunities.

Now, Giraffe has moved to not-for-profit social enterprise Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator, with the aim being to scale up youth employment efforts in South Africa and enable both jobseekers and employers to engage and interact in a low cost, self-service manner.

With the acquisition, the start-up’s existing user base of job seekers and employers will join the accelerator’s Youth Initiative. Users can continue to apply for jobs on the platform until 30 June 2021.

Giraffe’s CEO Anish Shivdasani said, “We are thrilled to be integrating our platform with Harambee as part of the SA Youth initiative – which is by far the largest ever co-ordinated effort to tackle the scourge of youth unemployment in South Africa. Together with Harambee,

Giraffe will be able to impact far more young people and businesses than we could have done alone.”
Anish had previously said that the online recruitment platform was built for mobile devices, with smartphone penetration in the country estimated to be at 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, Giraffe's focus is primarily on entry to mid-level jobs, according to Anish, with salary ranges between R3,000 and R25,000 a month.
This income range represents about two-thirds of the total South African workforce, he added.