Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Job Networking Evolution

Society evolves with technology over time.

In the early stages of a society, every business is a family business. Society is so unstable and chaotic that the only way to ensure your assets is to trust the people who are closest to you…and who you know where to find if anything goes wrong.

As cities become more gentrified and the family unit breaks down, companies grow outside of families and immediate social connections. People now no longer have that close knit family to rely on and being adopting those who used to be strangers into their “family” business. Governments and society even begin targeting companies that only hire within their family as discriminatory.

The reason for this being that as hiring became more complex with the rise of more complex markets, family members often lacked the skills necessary for the job. Family members then became illogical hires, while candidates more qualified existed outside the familial unit.

Tech comes in here at a very interesting place. 

Companies like DUMA, LinkedIn, and Branchout are jumping upon this opportunity to use social networks for the good. New technology and sophisticated databases are able to provide job linkages through social/professional/referral networks, while also ensuring that the person is a good match. These technologies are making it easier and faster for HR staff to find appropriate job matches. 

This ability to leverage social network and skills profile is going to become a key value in emerging markets, as trust is a huge component in hiring. These new technologies even turn reliance upon social connections into a social good. They do this by giving people an opportunity to expand beyond their immediate social connections and grow their professional network to connect with more work.

Test out the new age of hiring – visit us at or reach out to us at +254 701 060 302.

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  Friday, October 4, 2013

Job Boards Are Dinosaurs (The Employer Edition)


The subject line says it all.  Job boards are dinosaurs. They eat everything – time, money, nerves…and they deserve to be extinct.

Why would posting up an opening to the general public of everyone everywhere be the default successful, easy search option? It’s like searching for anything on Google without search engine optimization. You type in “baby panda” and your first hit is an article from a fantasy children’s book from the 1700s about “baby” Jesus that also happens to mention a “panda.”

Why do employers think it’s a good idea?

1-    It appears to be cheap

2-    It appears to be easy

3-    It appears to be effective – you get so many CVs, you must be able to find someone amidst the rabble!

Why we think it’s a bad idea?

1-    It’s not actually cheap – the time you spend sifting through the CVs is a waste of time.

Time = money. Waste of time = Waste of money

2-    It’s not actually easy – once you’ve successfully posted your job there is this endless void you sit in while waiting for that miracle job seeker to appear. I don’t know about you but I hate waiting.

Waiting = Stressful. Stressful = Not Easy.

3-    It’s not actually effective –

(Scenario 1) Once you think you have the best job seeker, you finally ask to meet them in person and because the job board is delayed, the candidate doesn’t show for the interview because they have already gotten a position somewhere else.

(Scenario 2) You get so many CVs, you don’t want to deal with looking through them at all, ask your sister for a recommendation of a friend/colleague of hers, and then hire them. Then you find out this person isn’t actually the best, then you have to fire and rehire all over again.

We have a lot of new tech running around in this small world these days. Tech is fixing so many things that usually happen slowly – you can send money via M-PESA instead of going upcountry to deliver the money in person. You can use Uber to find a trustworthy cab in your area. You can advertise your business to a targeted audience through Facebook. You get news and crime alerts via Twitter. These technologies are simple platforms to help you do things better. People start using them once they realize everyone else is doing it already.

So get ahead of your competition. Be a leader. Try out our method to make job boards a thing of the past. It’s free to sign up here and we promise we won’t try to eat you.

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  Friday, September 20, 2013

“Their attitude is their own success” – Interview with Sammy Mwangi (STRYDE)


Hi Sammy. Thanks so much for talking with us today. So tell us, how did you get involved in STRYDE?

I have always had a big passion for youth development, which led me to work in the youth space all my adult life (except for a period of 6 months). I believe it’s important to provide a ‘hand up’ instead of ‘hand out’ and to create business solutions to help people improve their own lives. The vision, mission, and activities of STRYDE resonate with what I love doing with my time and my life.

So what is STRYDE?

STRYDE stands for Strengthening Rural Youth Development through Enterprise. It is a program created through the efforts of Technoserve and The Mastercard Foundation to deliver services to the rural youth including skills training, business development and mentoring. 

What is your role in STRYDE?

I am a business advisor in charge of Aftercare in the STRYDE program. Aftercare is what happens after the STRYDE training and it has 5 key components:

1-    Opportunity Identification for gainful employment for youth

2-    Business Development Services to provide onsite visits and services to the youth

3-    Business Plan Competitions to help youth turn small business ideas into sustainable realities.

4-    Employability workshops and job fairs to train youth on employability skills and employment linkages through partners – like DUMA!

5-    Financed meetings – to give youth diagnostic services for business finances

What is your favorite success story from work with STRYDE?

There’s this group in Kiawarigi in Karatina we met during a program called ‘Yes Youth Can.’ This group took up the skill of weaving mats with their hands and developed a business that makes mats. They make mats and now have good business – even Technoserve buys mats to give as Christmas gifts because they are so nice! Their organization is now called Kiawarigi STRYDE Youth Group and you can contact them for mats at 0725281378.


So you travel a lot for these workshops. How many hours per week do you think you drive?

Let’s talk in kilometers (because you never know with traffic) – On average, I think I drive 1000 – 1500 km a week.

Oh man! That’s rough. What is your favorite activity for the car?

Definitely listening to music – when the radio is working, or with my phone.

What is your favorite music?

Country music. Obviously!

What do you think the million-dollar question is these days regarding youth unemployment?

Well, the question youth ask is ‘where can I get a job.’

I think the big question goes back to the education system. How can we create education reform to build students who will be attractive for employment?

If you could pass one legislative bill in the country (that was guaranteed to happen!), what would it address?

I think it would be an overhaul of the education system to provide both soft and hard skills to youth. We need teachers to teach people how to create opportunities rather than to beg them to come to you.

If I could change one more thing, it would be to create a space for small ideas to grow and compete well in the market. Why does the farmer make the least profit from his cabbages when he works with them for 3 months and the retailer makes 50/- off each cabbage in one day? Why can’t the youth sell their chicken at prices that can sustain families? One of the things we do at Technoserve is to create economic hubs for groups to collaborate and make sustainable livelihoods. Still, this needs to happen on a national level.

If you could give one piece of advice to a large group of people, what would it be?

Tell the youth that their personal success depends on them. It is not about what government, parents, or systems can do for you – it’s about using your talents and your god-given gifts to make something. The things around you are catalysts and speed the reaction but do not determine how the reaction goes.

What is your biggest pet peeve, or the thing that bothers you the most?

When we have done everything to have these young people to succeed – train them, provide necessary tools, provided advice – and yet, they don’t stand up for themselves and take up the challenge themselves. That is what keeps me awake at night, thinking about how they can change their attitude. Their attitude is their own success.

Where do you want to be in 10 years?

In terms of business development, I want to be a top business development consultant. I want to help companies look more closely at their bottom line social impact – so they look at their product as a way of changing people’s lives and not just about money.

Who is the biggest person to influence your life?

Apart from God – I want to be very honest – my wife. The years of our marriage have really influenced me – she’s strong, she’s a huge ball of life, and she’s the person who keeps me in check.

Thanks so much, Sammy, for that great interview. We wish you much success in everything and keep up the excellent work you’re doing with the youth!


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  Tuesday, September 17, 2013

DUMA Lands a Place in DEMO Africa!

demo africa

We never thought that when we created a profile on VC4Africa we would have the honor of presenting at DEMO Africa with 39 other select entrepreneurs! Congratulations to all the other startups who were selected to demo as well, including SleepOut.

We’ll see you on the big stage under the bright lights Oct. 24 -25 🙂

Anyone interested to learn more about DEMO Africa, check out this great article on DEMO by Miguel Heilbron –

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  Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Employability Workshop with STRYDE in Karatina

Employability Workshop with STRYDE in Karatina

Awesome experience participating in our 2nd employability workshop with STRYDE in Karatina. Rachael and Arielle got to present again to all the youth involved and also go around town talking with employers. What a great day! And fantastic meeting so many determined, hardworking youth from the area.

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  Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Employability Workshop in Bomet with Technoserve’s STRYDE Program

Employability Workshop in Bomet with Technoserve's STRYDE Program

Congratulations to Sammy and the STRYDE team for putting together a fantastic employability workshop!

DUMA was invited to attend an employability workshop with Technoserve’s STRYDE program in Bomet. Through a great presentation by Elizaphan Muraguri from Business Network International, the 100+ attendees received practical tips about the job search including what kind of weaves are appropriate and how long your CV should really be. (Hint: 1 page!)

Afterwards, Rachael and Arielle from DUMA made a presentation about what DUMA is, how to get signed up, and how to start taking advantage of its job-matching services. The presentation went really well and DUMA had over 30 sign ups in just that hour!

Look for an interview with Sammy coming soon that will talk more about the STRYDE program, his favorite music, and his favorite youth success stories.

More info about STRYDE and BNI at:

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  Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Happy Graduation, Jack & Kenny!

Happy Graduation, Jack & Kenny!

Very proud of our guys for their graduation from the University of Nairobi! Also, a great excuse for some delicious cake ordered on 🙂

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  Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Interview with Dominic Odhiambo from Yunasi

You can learn more about the faces and sounds of Yunasi at or check out a song at

You can learn more about the faces and sounds of Yunasi at or check out a song at

Stats: Dominic is 35 years old. He is an engineer and a singer in the band Yunasi.

What is Yunasi? Yunasi is a band that sings world music, featuring catchy drum solos and Kenyan rhythms. Yunasi began in 1998,and today has six members. The band started when a group of friends started singing in church together and then decided to take it to the next level and form a group. Alliance Française Nairobi helped them to make an album and travel around Europe and Australia. They also attended the French Week with Alliance Française, where they performed live.

Yunasi has released 3 albums and a fourth one is coming out in 2014.

Dominic now works full time as an engineer and part time as a singer.

What do you think about DUMA?: “I see it as a good platform for the youth to sign up and try and get matched to jobs.”

What is one piece of advice you would give to youth today? “Follow your talent”

Thanks, Dominic for a great interview! Looking forward to the new Yunasi album.

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  Tuesday, September 17, 2013

An interview with Florence Atieno from Nakuru

How did you learn about DUMA?
I found out about Duma in Nakuru, through a friend of mine.

What details did DUMA ask for?
I signed up by sending a blank message to 0701060302,then I got a message back asking for my name, age, location, CV and salary range.

Did DUMA meet your expectations?
Yes. After about a month I got a call asking if I was available for an interview. So, I went and was successful, I got a job as a receptionist.

Any comments for anyone who might wish to use DUMA?
I would advice people to at least try DUMA – it works! I would also recommend it to other people.

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