Unemployment has by far become one of Africa’s biggest problems. Nigeria, Africa’s most populated country, adds a million new job seekers yearly and the country’s unemployment rate has more than tripled in the last five years. Nigeria’s unemployment rate as at the second quarter of 2020 is 27.1 percent meaning about 21.7 million Nigerians remain unemployed.

Given this reality, private individuals and organizations have taken up the responsibility to cushion the effect of unemployment by creating substantial solutions. One of such organizations is the single largest job placement website in sub-Saharan Africa, Jobberman.

Inspired by the need to solve unemployment in Nigeria, three young Africans, Olalekan Olude, Ayodeji Adewunmi and Opeyemi Awoyemi created Jobberman, an online platform that provides training and placement for job seekers, as well as the best selection of candidates for companies hiring. The portal is used by both local and multinational companies to advertise job openings and find the right people.

Since 2009, Jobberman has changed the way people search for jobs while offering employers a simple but effective channel to advertise vacancies and find the right talents to fill them. However, following the outbreak of COVID-19, businesses have been hit hard, causing unemployment and underemployment rates to reach an unprecedented degree of over 40 percent, affecting mostly 18-35-year-olds.

The pandemic has created many challenges alongside a medium to be innovative, creative and proactive in these difficult times. In fact, many companies have now begun to seek new approaches to employ a better strategic recruitment process for improved results. As a solution driven organization, Jobberman is applying an innovative approach to still offer value during the global pandemic.

In response to the growing number of unemployed and underemployed people in Nigeria, coupled with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Jobberman launched its free Soft Skills training programme in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation. This is aimed at training 5 million job seekers while placing  3 million in dignified employment over the next five years. The ongoing online training program equips young people (18-35years) with critical tools, including business etiquette, emotional intelligence and more, to help them transition into their new roles and increase workplace productivity.

According to Tofe Adejumo Youth Engagement Associate – Learning and Development, “Jobberman prides itself in bringing employment opportunities to the market with continuous learning to keep you employed and growing in your career.” To this end, the organization is moving beyond the global challenge and has set a target to train 200,000 job seekers and place 120,000 in dignified employment by the end of the year 2020.

The organization also moved a step further to bring employers and candidates together under a virtual roof for its landmark Virtual Career Fair on September 30th 2020. This one-day career fair has been designed to enable participants to navigate the increasingly competitive job space and proffer essential employment tools alongside one-on-one interviews and preparatory sessions such as the CV Preparation masterclasses. The fair will have 250 prospective employers from diverse industries and 10,000 highly qualified candidates in attendance. Among the 250 potential employers are companies mainly from the agri-tech, digital, and the creative industry sectors with operations in Lagos, Kano and Kaduna. They will be showcasing their brands and speaking about their company cultures. Employers already listed on the Jobberman platform can sign-up for free and are required to commit to hiring within three months of the fair. According to Hilda Kragha, CEO of Jobberman Nigeria, the career fair truly expresses Jobberman’s core organizational goals.

Jobberman has taken the bold step to solve the issues affecting recruitment in Nigeria, such as eliminating the employment skills-gap, improving job readiness, matching the right candidates to employers, as well as collating and analyzing data. Going beyond just a jobs board to offering a platform that provides an end-to-end service, the organization has worked hard to acquire the position and reputation it holds in the Nigerian market today.

The organization employs its knowledge of the market to continuously build on and improve employer partnerships and candidate experience on the platform. The Jobberman platform also eliminates the usual pain points of the recruitment process to help drive workplace productivity and alleviate the strains of unemployment and underemployment in Nigeria.

The platform has a number of differentiators such as the acute knowledge of the recruitment industry and a wealth of data. Also, the platform’s unique value is the fact that its technology is very efficient and highly scalable.

The organization has in its years of existence, gradually become a household name and is speedily meeting its long-term goal of becoming the go-to company for the recruitment industry.

Despite the continuous success and milestones, the organization has also been faced with challenging times that have made them stronger and better. With the rising numbers of unemployment due to COVID-19, the organization had to devise ways to respond and do so quickly to lessen the impact, especially for the youth.

At the beginning of the pandemic, it became clear that by providing these job postings for free to employer partners, it is still possible to access the most highly skilled and qualified candidates and therefore keep the productivity of their businesses going. This would also prevent candidates from missing out on opportunities because companies were inevitably looking to cut down on costs. This major challenge has birthed a new opportunity , thus making results better for the organization.

With a vision to become the leading source of talent, Jobberman is by simplifying job searching and talent acquisition; matching the right set of skills with employer’s needs. Having garnered over a decade of experience working in the recruitment industry, the platform has garnered well over one million job seekers, more than 10,000 companies registered and the organization has helped over 50,000 Nigerians find their dream jobs.

“As an organization we are aware that the landscape of youth employment will continue to be shaped by the dynamics of technology, demographics, globalization and socioeconomic shifts. We are constantly looking to identify and understand how these shifts are shaping the labour market, particularly how it is driving demand for skills and the kinds of composition that employers require,” said Femi Balogun, Monitoring and Education Specialist at Jobberman.

Being at the forefront of Africa’s recruitment industry, Jobberman is steadily setting the pace to solve unemployment problems in Africa by using its platform and network to create equal and transparent opportunities that enable a more productive workforce. Jobberman is more than a platform, it is a sustainable solution to the problem of unemployment in Africa.

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