Uusi enables job hunters to sign up from their mobile phones using a simplified interface where they enter their skills in order to find potential employers more easily
We might talk a lot about recruitment via social media, but job seekers still needs network access if they are to get themselves noticed. With this in mind, South African company Uusi recently rolled out a mobile service in the form of a social network which enables people to post their profiles and skillsets, enabling potential employers to find them more easily. Inversely, any employer, whether an individual person or company, can list job offers there. Launched through the RLabs Innovation Incubator programme, "the goal was to provide a service for those with low income, such as the unemployed", explained Terence Hendricks, whose brainchild the service is, to L'Atelier. Accordingly, Uusi offer these kinds of job seekers, who are traditionally difficult to bring into the system, an opportunity to get themselves noticed and find work. The service looks like a professional social network such as LinkedIn or Viadeo, where the user has to open an account.
Opportunities for contact
Once a person has registered, forms appear on the screen with fields to enter personal details and information on sectors of interest and skills, and describe what s/he can do. Employers can also fill in a form in order to post a job offer and explain what the job is and what skills they require. If a job-seeker is of interest to an employer, or vice versa, all the company or the applicant has to do is get in direct contact with the person who posted the offer on the social network. Uusi is integrated into the largest chat platform in South Africa, Mxit, which really increases its level of visibility and enables its members to contact other members via instant messaging.
‘Poor man’s LinkedIn’
Uusi works like a traditional social network, but also allows you to suggest a job opening to someone you know. This “poor man’s LinkedIn” as Terence Hendricks calls it, can also suggest training courses to improve a job seeker’s skills. “The aim is to enable underprivileged people to find a business opportunity,” he explains, especially in the informal work sectors. But he stresses that "anyone at all can register with Uusi, including those with university degrees,” because everyone new person who registers increases the overall opportunities for contact. Today Uusi numbers more than 30,000 registered users.