Published on April 10th, 2012 | by Jesse Oguns1
Njorku: The Elephant From Africa, Brings Employers and Job seekers together
There are so many job sites that have been created to allow job seekers search for the job of their choice. So many, that searching through each one of them to find what you are looking for and especially jobs that suit an individual’s criteria can be a hard task. And yet, many more jobs solutions are launched every day.
An elephant, somewhere in Cameroon is providing the needed solution in a unique way. Njorku, a Cameroonian work for elephant, is not a job portal. It is a search engine that helps job seekers find jobs available on the other job portals targeting Africa.
The statistics of unemployed folks in different African countries are high. While Njorku is not creating jobs, it is useful in helping folks gain access to jobs that are advertised online.
The founder of Njorku, Churchil Nanje Mambe, is a young Cameroonian. The company is just 12 months old and according to Churchill, they have served over 500,000+ unique job seekers. During my chat with Churchill, he was able to shed more light on the newly launched Njorku 2.0 and how the service has been.
What differentiates Njorku from Others?
One thing about Njorku is that it is not a job portal like Jobberman, but a job search portal. There are many job portals in Africa and Njorku is not trying to join the league. Njorku searches Cameroon, Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, Ghana, Uganda and Egypt and makes the results available in one place. This is definitely what the job seekers have been waiting for. Instead of visiting the different job sites, you can simply log in to Njorku.com, define your search criteria and be presented with jobs that are available in these regions.
What makes it cooler is that Njorku has recently launched Njorku 2.0. “With Njorku 2.0, there are a few improvements,” Churchill said. Churchill further said that Njorku 2.0 has components that connect candidates to recruiters/employers/agents. So, candidates are only expected to create their account and fill in their data like their CV, keywords and other data that will help Njorku presents them to the employers. Employers also expected to create their account and will be able to search for candidates based on their criteria.
How has Njorku been able to resolve issues with other job portals?
It was no longer news that Jobberman blocked Njorku some months ago from crawling its portal. It is interesting to note that Jobberman is still blocking Njorku. According to Churchill, Jobberman is still blocking the Njorku’s crawler, but he hopes things will change with time. Churchil also feels other job portals will realise overtime that Njorku is actually working in their favour, helping to push the whole ecosystem further as the company strives to help African job seekers get access to more opportunities.
With the launch of Njorku 2.0, users can now manage their alerts and decide what they receive either via mail or SMS.
The ease with which Njorku puts jobs that fit you in your pocket, via your mobile phone after set up, is a brilliant move. Many job seekers now have two options on mobile — SMS or the mobile website, njorku.com/mobile.
With employers having their jobs in the front of many more audiences, they are more likely to end up with more applications when jobs are advertised online, thanks to the likes of Njorku and the myriads of online job portals in Africa.
What is the catch?
It is free for recruiters to use the portal. Yes, recruiters don’t pay anything. I am sure you are wondering what the catch is. Yes, I felt the same during our chat and that made me curious. You know how monetization is crucial and a hard nut to crack for many start-ups. How will such a venture run and be sustained if it is not charging? I was interested in knowing how they have been funding their operations and how they intend to make revenue.
“Just like Facebook, Google, Twitter, and other web start-ups, we strive first to offer solutions that help better the lives of Africans and when we are able to help millions of Africans, we are very positive we will get benefits from some of these people we are helping.” – Churchil
This reminds me of a saying that if you are not paying for a service, then you are the product being sold. I envisage that since this is not a non-profit venture like Wikipedia, ad may become one of their revenue generation models. I also foresee a situation where employers are asked to pay some fees as the service scales up. For now, I think their focus is on getting people on board (currently user base is 500,000+ unique users and still growing). They are looking at building Njorku for the next 3 to 5 years without making profit.
I will be looking forward to see how the algorithm of Njorku matures more and get rid of expired jobs in its search results. When expired jobs are served in the results, the relevancy of the result is defeated. Give it a spin if you haven’t try it and let me know what you think.
Updated: There is a search filter option at the top left corner. This is a feature that can eliminate jobs that are not within the time frame specified by you. It will allow you to decide how old the jobs returned should be.