Recruiting and talent management is a core challenge facing growing businesses in emerging markets. Over 1 million people enter India’s workforce each month, and the World Bank estimates that Africa will add more people to its job market in the next ten years than the rest of the world combined.
Given this volume of jobseekers, companies are typically left to sort through hundreds of applicants for a single job opening, relying mainly on CVs and personal connections to guide decisions on who to meet and hire. Shortlist aims to solve these across emerging markets.
Launched in 2016, and serving over 80 companies including Ather Energy, M-‐KOPA, MicroEnsure, and Xynteo, Shortlist has raised $1 Million in seed funding to help employers discover untapped talent across Africa and India by enabling firms to hire based on competency, rather than pedigree.
The investment was led by US-‐based private equity firm University Ventures, Indian angel investor Samir Shah of Sattva Capital, Kenya-‐based seed fund Zephyr Acorn, global impact investor FARM Ventures and US-‐ based investor Bodley Group.
Shortlist will use the funds to enhance its data-‐driven talent screening product, which automates applicant vetting using online competency-‐based assessments.
“The single biggest challenge for growing companies is finding the right talent to scale,” says Paul Breloff, co-‐founder and CEO of Shortlist. “We believe that both jobseekers and employers deserve a better way to find each other and gauge fit. We’re thrilled to have a group of investors who share our desire to fix this broken talent marketplace, and believe the mix of expertise across India, East Africa, and the United States will add significant strategic value as we build on our early traction.”
With Headquarters in Mumbai and in Hyderabad, and Nairobi, Shortlist helps companies in India and East Africa hire for early and mid-‐career roles based on demonstrated potential and skill, rather than pedigree.
The startup’s unique technology creates a single application flow to engage candidates across a company’s sourcing channels, including job boards, referral programs, and existing third-‐party recruiters.
Shortlist then screens these candidates using chat-‐based interviews, online competency assessments, and other proprietary tools that predict how candidates will performing a particular role. Employers then receive access to interview-‐ready candidates, streamlining the often time-‐consuming and bias-‐prone phases of hiring, and ultimately only engaging with the applicants who possess the right ability, experience, and fit for their teams.
Ryan Craig, author of College Disrupted: The Great Unbundling of Higher Educationand Managing Director at University Ventures. “The shift from degree-‐ and pedigree-‐based hiring to competency-‐based hiring has tremendous potential for employers, individuals, and overall economic growth.
Since its launch in early 2016, Shortlist has engaged nearly 200,000 jobseekers helping them highlight their strengths and be considered for jobs based on demonstrated potential and fit, not merely their educational background and formal work experience.
Shortlist has previously received funding from AHL Venture Partners, Blue Haven Initiative,the Shell Centenary Scholarship Fund, and Shell Foundation, and was a winner of the ANDE-‐Argidius Talent Challenge.