Failure to secure employment by some qualified young people in Botswana has been partly attributed to the recruitment literacy gap.
IBranch Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Tshepiso Leinane explains that often-times qualified young people fail to secure jobs because of the way they present their qualifications and skills in a job application. IBranch, a product of Leintel Codemasters Holdings is Botswana’s first business-to-business social media platform that primarily operates as a mobile App that makes it easier for job seekers to receive employment opportunities straight to their mobile phones wherever and whenever.
The App, a result of two years of hard work and research, bridges the gap between employers and the unemployed population across Botswana regardless of age, area of interest and qualifications.
According to Leinane, since their official launch a year ago, they have been able to facilitate employment for over 200 Batswana. The company now has introduced yet another initiative, a weekly radio show dubbed IBranch Radio Show on RB2 that starts this Wednesday mornings at 10:15 in their efforts to further fight youth unemployment.
This is the first of its kind in Botswana with the sole purpose of bridging the recruitment literacy gap. “Every year our country suffers socio-economically due to the high unemployment rates among the youth in Botswana,” he says. Through the Radio Show, IBranch gives human resources practitioners and employers from various sectors including mining, health, finance IT and accounting an opportunity to discuss live on the show and network with job-seekers on a nationwide scale. “This networking allows for seamless sharing of information between the employer and the jobseekers,” Leinane says, adding, “We started this initiative after realising the mistakes jobseekers make when applying for jobs through our mobile app.”
He believes that through this facilitation, job seekers will be able to get first hand advice and tips directly from the employers on national radio. “This will consequently equip them with the necessary tools and knowledge needed to increase their chances of securing jobs,” Leinane says. According to Leinane – a computer science undergraduate from the University of Botswana, the App primarily assists job seekers who do not have access to other sources of information like newspapers and websites for vacancies, especially youngsters who are fond of social media.
Leinane, 23, works with three other youngsters, Otshepeng Opadile, 23, Motshidisi Molelwane also 23 and Arona Motsemeng 25.
The quartet is proud that since inception, their App has assisted employers and job seekers beyond Botswana including in the US, where the App already has 25 users. “We still however, cannot confirm whether these users in the US have been able to either find employment through the App or recruit through the App,” Leinane said in an interview. They have plans to launch in South Africa next year and spread their services to Ghana, Nigeria, Indonesia, Canada, Kenya and Syria. IBranch has also partnered with other like-minded companies on Facebook to ensure an efficient service.
“We work closely with Get A Job Botswana which has over 200 000 followers on Facebook. Whenever Get a Job Botswana flights job openings, we provide a link that applicants can easily link to start the application process.”
The App provides real time notifications to users, who are currently over 100 000. When employers post their vacancies, notifications reach users in real time. In addition, the sophisticated backing system also allows for users to access the service offline in the event that there is no connectivity. Leinane is also quick to state that a majority of recruitment platforms target graduates, and leave out certain groups.
IBranch on the other hand prioritises overlooked content by including a variety of vacancies that require a wide range of qualifications from junior certificate, Cambridge and university level.
The App caters for all groups and ages from temporary jobs to permanent jobs. Some employers have validated the App, stating that it is an effective tool to use. One such is Minister of Tertiary Education, Research Science and Technology, Thapelo Olopeng who interacted with the youth company at the Youth Expo and sought their services.
“I asked them if they could help me look for a suitable Farm Manager and Herdboy and I liked the efficiency and timely feedback I got from them,” Olopeng says. He emphasises that in an era that Botswana wants to embrace a knowledge-based economy such initiatives and innovations by young people are highly appreciated and need to be supported. Managing Director of CapSuite, Gaokgakala Tubutubu also believes that IBranch is an effective tool for employers. His company employed two people in the past as a result of the facilitation by the App. IBranch has partnered with Orange Botswana and the Botswana Innovation Hub to make the non-profit radio show a success. IBranch won the Best in Science and Technology Award at the Youth Business Expo, and were second position at the Botswana Youth Awards for Best in Innovation and Technology this year.