Innovations in Platform-Led Upskilling: Jobberman
Jobberman invests in virtual softs skills training amid COVID-19 to help prepare job seekers for the workplace
Jobberman was founded in Nigeria in 2009 and has grown to become the largest recruitment platform in sub-Saharan Africa. In 2017, Jobberman became part of Ringier One Africa Media Group (ROAM), one of Africa’s largest digital publishers. The group has over 13 businesses across Africa including Jobberman Ghana and the Brighter Monday Job platforms in East Africa. In Nigeria alone, the platform has over 2.5 million registered job seekers actively looking for jobs posted by more than 65,000 employers. When we spoke to Hilda Kabushenga Kragha, CEO at Jobberman Nigeria, in May 2020, she reported that 8,000 new placements had been made across the platform in the last month.
While Jobberman continues to connect job seekers to new work—even in the midst of COVID-19—many lack the skills, specifically soft skills, to succeed in the workplace. In an attempt to improve job seekers’ “employability” and ensure young people are better prepared for the workplace, the platform has begun to invest in soft skills training through its Youth Engagement and Learning arm.
With support from the Mastercard Foundation, the platform launched a free, six-week virtual soft skills training program for 18-35 year olds in early May. Over 15,000 people, 57 percent of whom were women, signed up for the first training course covering a range of topics from effective communication to time management and business etiquette. On signing up, the participants took a pre-assessment test developed by India-based Interview Mocha, a global skills assessment platform which had already partnered with Jobberman on their integrated skills assessment product, available for companies as an affordable assessment tool during the recruitment process.
Jobberman’s youth engagement team, supported by a team of 20 volunteers, delivers the training via Zoom in keeping with COVID-19 social distancing rules. The volunteers and facilitators continue to engage the participants on various Telegram channels, outside the Zoom class. Each Telegram group is hosted by members of Jobberman’s Youth engagement team who answer trainees’ questions and test the participants’ knowledge through mini exercises. The Telegram groups are also used to share job opportunities.
Additionally, through the partnership with Interview Mocha, candidates will take a final assessment at the end of their course to gauge the evolution of their soft skills competencies.
Jobberman Soft Skills Training topics
1. Managing Self and Personal Development
Personal Effectiveness and Time Management
Business Etiquette and Workplace Ethics
Effective Communication, Presentation, and Storytelling
2. Working in Highly Successful Teams
Flexibility and Adaptability
3. Employability Skills Workshop
Professional CV/Cover Letter Writing
Job Search Strategies
Introduction to Negotiation Skills
4. Creativity and Idea Generation
Creativity & Innovation
Critical Thinking & Problem Solving
—Hilda Kabushenga Kragha, CEO at Jobberman
“Working closely with our clients, we know that soft skills are one of the biggest gaps they see for young people in the workplace. It is not enough to have a first class degree: critical thinking, emotional intelligence, working effectively in teams and other soft skills are crucial for success in the workplace. We hope that this training improves workplace outcomes for young people which will, in turn, lead to increased productivity.”
“I am beginning now to answer the question of who am I? I have become more aware of myself. I know my strengths and I am aware of my weaknesses.” —Ebenezer Adama, participant and volunteer
“I have had some change in thinking. I see the deficiencies I had in dealing with other people and I will work towards solving them because of this training. It has really been an eye-opener.” —Osaratin Daniel, participant and volunteer
To take this training further, Jobberman is looking to partner with universities and other higher education institutions to validate and certify the soft skills curriculum so that participants can cite it as a credential while searching for jobs on or off the platform. Research has shown that people proficient in soft skills are more successful in the workplace. Given the competitive nature of the job market at present, this qualification will give candidates a leg up in their job search.
More training to fill skills gaps
While the Zoom-based, soft skills training program has been a success, Kragha says Jobberman is looking to invest in a more sustainable Learning Management System in partnership with other training organizations to help fill a range of skills gaps.
Through further training, Jobberman is keen to help increase women’s participation in the job market, provide financial literacy training to help youth—in the gig economy especially—manage their money, and offer a digital ecommerce module to help improve digital literacy skills and knowledge on how to leverage digital and social commerce to scale small businesses.
“When it comes to ensuring that job seekers are rightly skilled and have all the tools they need, the gaps are so many that no one company can do it all. While at Jobberman we have decided that soft skills and placements will be our primary focus, through partnerships we can work with technical training providers to bring online learning opportunities closer to our platform users.” —Hilda Kabushenga Kragha, CEO at Jobberman Nigeria
At the moment, Jobberman hosts a few courses in partnership with various training agencies in which job seekers can enroll for a fee to improve their skills. However, Jobberman sees the training as, in part, its corporate social responsibility and wants to ensure that there are affordable courses for the thousands of Nigerian job seekers.
In our Platform-Led Upskilling project, we’re exploring how digital platforms are teaching a range of transferable skills to users and, in doing so, becoming an important part of the education landscape and helping to create human capital that can be allocated in many different contexts within an economy. We’re excited to see how such training opportunities evolve on Jobberman and other digital platforms!