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CEO Weekends: Kama Kazi Launches to Disrupt Kenya’s Recruitment Sector

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296464_144083682403133_1133368706_nKama Kazi is a new online site in Kenya set to connect jobseekers with employers for entry-level jobs, sought by recent graduates, college and high school leavers.

Launching in a highly competitive market with players like BrighterMonday, Careerpoint, Careers24 among others. The site’s target market is the SME in Kenya which are estimated to be around 7 million, and 96% of the businesses in Kenya and the largest employment sector but only employing 5 million people.

Kama Kazi works simply. Users have to register on the site, fill up a profile then the system automatically generates a CV for them which they can then use to apply for roles. Kama Kazi’s Facebook app allows users to chose to receive job alerts in 3 industry sectors and also share them direct to their Facebook timeline and notifications.

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TechMoran caught up with Deborah Beaton, the Managing Director and Founder of Kama Kazi and this is what she told us;
How different is it from job boards already in the market?

We differ in many ways. One is the added feature above – we post directly to Facebook timelines and notifications allowing two things:

Easy, instant access to the latest vacancies. I think we can safely say the average Kenyan checks Facebook twice a day on the lower end of the scale :).
Users can easily share vacancies that they are not apply for allowing them to actively engage their friends and spread the reach of each vacancy.

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We have a jobs board as one of our services but we also offer many other services such as training (soon to be online and mobile), and in addition to CV’s we store information on our users that can be used to easily and quickly filter potential talent for our employers. We are building additional features which also enhance the application process. More to come on this in the future.

Who are founders? What experiences/merits make you believe you are good for this?

I am the sole founder. I am a Law graduate from University of Exeter actually. But I was born and brought up in Kenya and am a Kenyan Citizen.
I have extensive experience in HR and Recruitment but as an actual employer. I have worked in small Companies in Kenya for many years, therefore I understand the needs of the Small Business Owner, my target market intricately. I can relate to my market and I understand their problems, I too am a small business owner now.

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I have also understand the problem for jobseekers in that there are few platforms that facilitate the job search process.

On the technology side I am working with a young Graduate from Strathmore University. This is, self admitted, my weak side, however, I am an incredibly resourceful and inquisitive person and I have come to believe that even for a web app such as what I am building there are many ways to build this using software and apps that have been developed by others. WordPress for instance, Podio, Zapper, Mailchimp. Nearly everything I want to do can be built using pre-existing software. And so I am working with a developer from Kenya, but I am also strict that if I do not understand any part of my site then it has to be transferred into a format I can understand.

Above all else I am fascinated in this area, I am passionate about it. I read once that the CEO of Amazon is so focussed on his users that he even thinks about them in the shower. Well I think I have one up on him in that I actually DREAM about my users. And I have some damn good ideas in my dreams, the problem is I can’t always remember them when I wake up.

What’s Kama Kazi’s business model?

Our business model is online engagement to begin with from the employer, through a membership program. Whereby an employer becomes a member of Kama Kazi for a period of time that covers their recruitment period. This is a paid service.
Again as we grow this will also grow and we will have membership for job seekers. We are developing this now.
Membership for jobseekers will allow access to many online training tools to help the jobseeker brush up on various IT skills and soft skills.

Working with employers-which skills are needed most in the market? Do you think universities are doing less to develop this skills?

Employers are very concerned with the current state of the Graduate market in terms of employment. Graduates lack many of the soft skills that are required. The main being communication skills. Basic Customer care and Business Writing are the other two major skills that are markedly missing. All three are vital to any role, at any level in any business in any industry.

I think that Universities are trying to work with students on some of these areas, but it is always a question of numbers. We are currently very close to finalising on MOU’s with JKUAT,USIU and Strathmore in order to run programs at each University which will help enormously with the overall reach of an education program such as this.

1234484_326027294208770_36314667_nHow do you qualify employees?

Our vetting system is very simple. We use data as well as simple engagement analytics (not sure that is the right term, but how much the user has engaged with each form of registration).

I will begin with our full registration. If someone takes the time to fill in our full registration they are already streaks ahead of the majority. Hardly anyone can be bothered to take the time. This shows commitment to themselves and the job seeking process and these people will always make it onto our ‘preferred database’.

From our shortened registration we also can take most of this data and use it for vetting too. Every single form is reviewed! 90% are incomplete. I would say 50%  have spelling errors. 70% state leave the ‘skills’ and ‘IT Skills’ Sections blank. From this simple form we can also tell a huge amount about a person.
100% complete forms with CV attached are ranked highest.
Completed forms with no CV second
Incomplete Forms and those with spelling errors are disregarded unless there is anything that really stands out to us. These forms show a complete lack of commitment and care – it is a very short form and takes less that 10 minutes to complete properly, there is no excuse to leave it incomplete or to have errors.

Those on our ‘preferred’ database are reference checked.


Apart from just jobs, Kama Kazi also offers training, mentoring, coaching, self development and e-Learning.


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Sam Wakoba
Sam Wakoba
Taking you on tour through Africa's tech and business ecosystem, one story at a time since 2010! Based out of Nairobi, Kenya, Sam is the founder and managing director of Moran Media, which runs, various other digital platforms and a startup incubation hub for Kenya's youthful entrepreneurs. Drop me a mail at [email protected]

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