CareerBox has announced its African expansion with the opening of a branch in Nairobi, Kenya.
This is in line with the company’s efforts to reduce unemployment using demand-led training in order to create sustainable service industry job opportunities and bring hope to youth and women in the East African powerhouse.
“One of our early ambitions was to expand our African footprint, and the growing demand for Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) in Kenya from international clients has helped us do just that. Despite this increased availability of various contact center-related jobs, there are many youth and women in the country who have academic qualifications, but are not technically ready for the world of work,” says Lizelle Strydom, MD at CareerBox
According to Strydom, the Kenya environment gave CareerBox the opportunity to showcase what they are best at by providing their industry-leading training programmes that better equip individuals to thrive in their roles and progress in their careers in the industry.
The branch in Kenya has been set up in a way that reflects the environment that can be found in South Africa – not just aesthetically, but in terms of treating applicants with dignity, giving hope, and instilling confidence in them.
Signaling the demand in the Kenyan market, CareerBox’s initial request for 50 candidates was well-received, with the number of applicants for the organization’s work readiness programme outstripping the requirement severalfold, and the organization had to bring teams in South Africa on board in order to attend to all the applicants.
Strydom explains that there are differences in the Kenyan market; while there is high unemployment similar to what is being experienced in South Africa, the applicants have tended to be highly educated and hold graduate qualifications or even higher. This has been reflected in the evaluation of the candidates, with much higher pass marks being observed.
While the youth and women in Kenya might have superior qualifications partly because their education system is well established, there are still barriers to entry. CareerBox is looking to identify people with talent and potential, who if nurtured and given the opportunity can be very successful within their organizations,” Strydom said.
As part of its efforts, CareerBox is also looking to promote impact sourcing – a business practice where organizations look toward previously disadvantaged communities to identify and develop high potential talent, and then provide them job opportunities – in Kenya, and raising awareness about how it is becoming a requirement to doing business with a growing number of global companies and even government.
This includes highlighting the business benefits of this impact sourcing, including a comparable or lower cost to traditional recruitment methods, higher levels of employee motivation, lower attrition rates and fewer employee disputes. Beyond just having a positive impact on the employee, there is a multiplier effect, with these employees contributing to the socio-economic upliftment of their families and the communities that they come from.
“These organizations can leverage off the fact that we are developing workforces for the future, with a view to expanding their businesses. CareerBox has experience in working with customers from across multiple markets, including the USA, UK, and Australian market, and can apply these learnings locally across multiple sectors, including tourism for example, and not just in contact centres,” said Strydom.