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Since Ventureburn last caught up with recruitment marketplace OfferZen in January, the Cape Town-based company has been flaunting some impressive growth. It has strengthened its team from three to nine in order to expand its operations to Gauteng and ultimately corner SA’s software developer job market.
OfferZen is an online jobs marketplace for software developers. Both the companies seeking developers and the developers themselves apply to be listed on the website. Once accepted, companies send interview requests to developers, specifying salary, and benefits upfront. The developer can then choose whether they accept the interview request or not.
While certainly not limited to software developers, Cisco estimates that SA needs around 30 000 to 70 000 skilled workers in the tech sector. This demand has even prompted the likes of Google to launch its Digify programme, which aims to upskill 300 000 young South Africans with digital skills.
Speaking to co-founder Philip Joubert recently, he says the main reason their system is proving to be so success is because it’s resolving a crucial pain point in an outdated recruitment industry.
“No one at OfferZen gets commission when they find a developer a job. A normal recruiter, if they get you a job, someone gets money. That sounds cool but the problem is that you’re incentivised to place people wherever. You don’t care whether they’re happy or not. As a whole, the industry is warped because of that incentivisation,” he explains.
OfferZen’s online marketplace platform essentially automates the supply and demand in a way that’s transparent enough to benefit both parties. “We help people and the companies sell themselves,” says Joubert.
From OLX and Alan Gray to SnapScan and the Praekelt Foundation, the platform has a wide variety of companies currently hiring on OfferZen. In total, companies have made upfront offers valued at over R81 million to developers on OfferZen.
“Companies of all sizes are joining. We have really small companies on like Tax Tim, who are only two people at the moment but looking to grow quickly, as well as larger companies like takealot.com.”
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Out of the 200 companies that have applied, only 60 have made the cut, which is recruiting an average of one employee per week.
According to Joubert, companies offering the highest salary isn’t the biggest differentiator when it comes to hiring software developers. These individuals are making their final decision based primarily on learning opportunities, as long as their salaries are within the ballpark they’re looking for.
He also noted that women are getting the most interview requests on the platform.
Joubert has a lot of prospects for further proving OfferZen’s business model in South Africa — and possible globally — noting that the demand for software developers far outpaces the number of software developers available. “This isn’t something that’s bound to change anytime soon. In fact, attracting developers will only become a bigger problem as more companies refocus their business models around software,” concludes Joubert.