Fuzu was launched in Kenya in mid September last year. For some reason, I didn’t attend the event despite having received the invite to the early-morning launch at Norfolk Hotel in Nairobi.
I followed the launch online via Twitter and later put the whole event and Fuzu behind me. And moved to other things, like happens to most of us.
That was until two weeks ago when I got a call from Rachael Adhiambo, Fuzu’s Social Media and PR Officer, requesting me to attend a Bloggers Breakfast at Fuzu premises at Nairobi Garage.
I went to Bloggers Breakfast last Thursday March 9. Already seated and having their breakfast were Robert Kimani (the President and Business Development Lead for Fuzu in East Africa); Jussi Hinkkanen (Fuzu’s CEO) and of course Rachael (who’d made the initial contact with me). Ann Naishorua Kitare (Fuzu’s User Activation specialist), joined us later.
From the bloggers’ side, I found Telford Aduda Rang’ala (from e-Taarifa News) already in the room while Chege (from Tuko.co.ke) and Sam Wakoba (publisher of TechMoran) joined us later.
Because the session was basically meant to brief about the Fuzu platform, how it differs from existing online job placement portals (like Brighter Monday for instance) and to offer us an opportunity to learn how “technology is changing the way people find employment and build their career.”
Then Jussi, the Fuzu CEO, took the floor to give us the background and provide an update about the platform since it launched over 5 months ago.
Now, Fuzu is Swahili word meaning ‘to succeed’ or ‘to become competent’. This therefore means that the spirit of self-development and continuous growth is very key to Fuzu.
The objective of the platform is to help job seekers and employers ‘find each other’ and the platform’s developers have designed innovative solutions to address the unemployment challenge in Africa.
Remember that Africa’s job market is growing faster than any other region globally, with some 122 million people projected to join the job market between 2010 and 2020.
Unlike typical online job portals or boards, Fuzu bills itself as a career development service that allows job seekers, irrespective of their level of education and seniority, to dream and plan their future, to learn new skills and competencies and ultimately find a job that best matches their profile.
For prospective employers, Fuzu provides a set of tools for identifying best matching candidates through search and recruitment solutions and automated analysis of CV’s. The platform integrates online testing of candidates to the application process, thereby making it easy to find a candidate that best matches with the requirements.
And it’s important to note that employers don’t just use the platform to only seek and recruit low- to middle-level positions within their organisations but come to Fuzu when they want to fill C-Level vacancies as well. Robert Kimani confided to me that a local firm had recently recruited a CEO through the platform.
Below are the highlights of the session as summarized by Jussi:
- Fuzu’s aim is to fix the unemployment challenge, by providing people with a pathway to employment. Research shows that 90-95 per cent of job seekers are unemployable as is and they need career guidance, further education and a way to find.
- Fuzu has attracted a lot of positive attention from employers and job-seekers. We now have more than 250 employers on board and a community of 115,000 users enjoying the Fuzu proposition.
- Job seekers feel that Fuzu’s learning and matching solutions offer unique value by improving their chances of finding employment and employers see that Fuzu’s algorithm and test based validation of candidates accelerates recruitment radically.
- In addition to accolades from users, Fuzu received an Award by Marketing Society of Kenya for the most Innovative Campaign in 2015, a confirmation that even startups can make waves in the market.
Apart from the user numbers (both employers and job seekers), the Fuzu bosses could not disclose how much they’ve already realized in terms of revenues since they launched here.