How to land that job of your dreams at Safaricom

Bob Collymore, CEO Safaricom

Safaricom, the biggest telecom’s firm in East and Central Africa, with over 26.6 million subscribers, providing over 200,000 touch points for its customers and offering over 100 different products under its portfolio with annual revenues in excess of Kshs 150 Billion is one of the best firms for anyone to work for, especially those that love job security.

The firm pioneered commercial mobile money transfer globally through M-PESA in 2007 and ten years later, the service is one of its kind anywhere in the world serving over 24 million customers and over 114,000 M-PESA Agent outlets countrywide. TechMoran caught up with the firm’s acting HR boss to see how and who it hires to stay innovative and retain its culture.

TechMoran talked to Joseph Ogutu, the Director Strategy & Innovation and Ag, Director Human Resources. Ogutu says the firm carefully designs interview process that is competency-based this means that as the firm seeks to understand a candidate’s abilities based on a set of role-specific behavioral and technical competencies, as well based on how they have performed in these competencies in the past. We believe that the past is a good predictor of future performance.

Here is what Ogutu told us.

1.How do you as the HR lead, ascertain a candidate’s future performance in a one or two-hour interview?

It’s indeed hard to be 100% certain about a candidate’s future performance from an interview process. The candidate could have the right technical abilities, but the specific environment might not be the right one-thus making it difficult for them to thrive once on boarded. To increase the chances of best-fit candidate for a job, we do conduct multiple level interviews- and all the feedback is collated into a single report. For Senior positions, we also conduct some standard psychometrics tests for the finalist candidates- this help us to understand their development gaps in relation to the type of job that they applied for.

2. How are you dealing with millennials and their need to work remotely than the traditional 9.5 office work schedule?

 We have flexible working policy in place- meaning one can structure there working pattern in agreement with their supervisor. We focus on the agreed deliverables as opposed to physical presence. Given that we are Technology based Company, staff can work remotely from various locations –unless required by the nature of job to be physically present.

3. With employees from various fields and regions of the world working in various departments. How do you maintain a uniform company culture?

We have common communication platforms including a daily briefing newsletter from the PR & Communications department. As a company we also subscribe to a common value system that is around 3 key values- Speed, Simplicity and Trust. All staff are expected embed this values in their everyday activities and interactions.

4. Last year tech firm Infosys ‘released’ 9000 employees due to automation. Do you think routine lower end jobs will vanish at Safaricom too?

Customers are key to the success of our business, and we are conscious that Technology or automation can never replace the impact of human interaction or touch.