Factsheet: The evolving models of tech talent matching in Africa
You are reading Factsheet, our series of specific guides on experiencing and using technology platforms in Africa. Whether you are looking for knowledge on getting your African film on Netflix, raising a seed round or finishing an online design course, we are covering all that.
Andela has started hiring senior software engineering talent as contractors. Now a fully remote company, no geographical limitations preclude it from working with developers across Africa from rural to urban cities.
Buoyed by Andela’s early success and enticed by the prospect of filling the junior talent space, tens of job matching sites have sprung up around the continent. Each proposes one tweak or twist to its value proposition but the ultimate promise is to connect companies who need software developers to African talent, and vice versa.
The past five months of 2020 have aided the growth of this sub-industry by creating an environment for testing the practicability of distributed work.
Companies big and small have had an elongated taste of what it feels like to function in work-from-home mode and while many are returning to the office, some will retain elements of remote work. That opens the door for more remote hires for part-time and full-time positions, a prospect that especially suits the software programming labour market.
In this regard, we can expect to see more activity in the gig economy value chain in Africa. Advances in the intersection of payments technology and ecommerce – exemplified by pandemic-time solutions like Paystack Commerce and Flutterwave Store – favour freelancers who have more tools with which to send invoices and receive payments for services.
In the same vein, job matching sites for technology skills are building up capacity to take advantage of the moment. Here’s a look at how they describe themselves in 2020 and what differentiates one from another.
Omowale David-Ashiru, Andela’s vice president for global operations, told TechCabal in July that the company hasn’t deviated from its founding mission of helping companies find distributed teams of software engineers. By moving to a fully remote model, the company says it now has a pool of over 500,000 talents to employ from.
Present and former Andela engineers are recognised among the best in Africa. As such, the opportunity to even work on a contract basis for the companies’ clients remains appealing.
Each gig is time-bound ranging from a few weeks to up to 6 months. They do not come with workplace benefits like stock options and health insurance offered to full-time employees. But for the senior engineer exploring secondary income streams, an Andela gig should be a lucrative opportunity.
Founded in 2016, Gebeya describes itself as an online talent marketplace. Starting from Ethiopia, the startup has plugged into the talent market in Kenya, and Senegal where it has helped telco Orange hire developers.
Gebeya started off with training talents before matching them to jobs. It still does training but its strongest focus is on being the company to contact when in need of talent.
They have four product lines in this regard: G-Talent is for companies looking for short or long-term talent, G-Subscription has fixed rates per hour ideal for SMEs in need of temporary fixes, G-Made is for companies who want their projects built directly by Gebeya engineers, while G-Box is for those who want to order pre-written code perhaps to finetune a prototype or minimum viable product.
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