In an era where everything is connected, many job-seekers and their potential employers are still far-removed from one another. Britecap, a Fintech start-up, is bridging the divide digitally.
We all bemoan the state of employment in our country with 1 in 3 people we live alongside ‘sans gainful livelihood’. But most of us are untouched by the struggle millions go through on a daily basis to rectify their situation. From our privileged homes it’s hard to see exactly what barriers lay between a skilled, determined individual and their ability to support their families.
Those who need a job the most – our lower income brothers and sisters – are the ones who have to fight the hardest to successfully find one. Without convenient access to a working computer, printer or the internet (or LinkedIn), millions spend a small fortune (fact: this is often more than they’ll eventually earn if they are triumphant) traveling from home to town centres in order to pay for the use of a computer terminal, so they can create and then print (at about R2 a page) multiple copies of their CVs, then disbursing them to whomever will accept one, just to travel home again and pray for a response, before making the trip all the way back for the interviews – often many, many times before a job is finally secured. That’s quite a process, and explains why so many now make up the bulk of the ‘discouraged job seeker’ category: They’ve just given up.
While there is no lack of desire, there is definitely a lack of infrastructure to actualise the potential of that desire. This is the realisation that Transport and Spatial Economist, Jacomien Van der Merwe had, and the epiphany that followed soon after may just be the solution. What started as an idea to educate people while they commute is fast becoming a way for a large part of our population let the right jobs find them. Britecap, the online business started by Jacomien and development partner (in life, and business) Jonathan, allows for job-seekers to create their own online CV profile on the Britecap platform, and allows employers (currently anyone looking for permanent employees – domestic to enterprise) to post requirements. The system then matches the two, and allows for the setup of interviews. Britecap also stores all relevant documentation, like IDs, passports and SARS records, making decision making, new employee onboarding and payroll so much simpler for employers, too.
Job-seekers have just been given back about 70% of the time they would spend seeking jobs – not to mention the money they can now retain. And it benefits employers, too, by vetting applicants and providing clean data from which to make new employee comparisons and an eventual a decision. And it’s fast – Britecap will respond with suitable candidates in 48 hours or less. This is something that sites like Gumtree just aren’t built for.
In the last few months they’ve won the SAP @Rise Africa competition as well as the LaunchLab’s General Ideas Programme. As finalists, they received a R10 000 capital injection, a space inside the LaunchLab for 6 months, as well as the relationships with the many other excellent entrepreneurs and mentors (that the LaunchLab has become known for) as a part of the package.
While traditional recruitment agents are focussing on the most profitable sectors of the market, Britecap is doing what needs to be done for those who need it. As they build their database (which is already sitting at over 3000 employable people), form bonds with employers and investors, and keep doing things non-traditionally, they are giving us, and the rest of the populace, a lot less to moan about, and a far brighter tomorrow.
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