Jobberman Takes The Job

Jobberman Takes The Job

Jobberman pioneered the online recruitment industry in West Africa. It continues to connect employers and job seekers in the region. This is industry of the future because over time recruitment will move completely online. The firm was acquired by One Africa Media many years ago. One Africa Media is now executing an Africa-wide strategy which is very important: they need scale to have opportunities to unlock value.

Hiring the right candidate is important to companies because the ability to find the right skill and talent needed would largely determine the company’s success. To cater to this need, One Africa Media, which owns Jobberman and Brighter Monday, has set up a new company, which is offering cross border recruitment services in Africa.

The new company, known as “The African Talent Company (TATC)”, was set up to focus on Jobberman and Brighter Monday’s clients that were asking for more services across the borders of Africa. This company is offering better-bespoke services in terms of recruiting, consulting, in terms research work, salary surveys and more HR involvement.

Simply, Jobberman is taking the job it has left on the table over the years. Through TATC, among others, the following services will be offered to clients and partners:

  • Recruiting
  • Consulting
  • Research
  • Benchmarking (eg salary, etc)

As I have noted in the past, Jobberman must transmute beyond the direct online recruitment business to offer services which include:

  • Job portal for job seekers
  • Career Advisory Services
  • Recruitment, HR Advisory, Headhunting
  • Placement Services (executive search)
  • E-learning (marketplace)

Through TATC, Jobberman will deliver most of these services at scale, across Africa. This will help it fix some challenges inherent, at the moment, in its business model: patronage of online recruitment in the public sector.

In Nigeria, there is a regulation that stipulates that important government jobs must be advertised. Online was not included. This means that government and its agencies can only advertise for jobs in print newspapers to comply with the regulation. I have noted that when a business cannot provide services to the public sector, in Nigeria, its capacity to grow will be limited. Government remains the largest spender and that is very important for any business and startup. As Jobberman goes Africa-wide, through TATC, it will expand its revenue base. This will help cushion the effects of the lack of major revenue from government.

Nigeria is an employer market as we have more job seekers than available jobs. That has been the reason why Jobberman started charging job seekers fees. The idea was that if there are limited jobs, you need paid access to even apply to them. There is a big problem with that model, which I am not a fan of. Growing the ecosystem and giving employers assurance that the best possible candidates will see their job adverts, irrespective of the candidates’ financial positions, cannot be neglected. You cannot charge job seekers and also at the same time ask employers to pay. That is a faulty business model. It needs to focus on asking employers to pay for services while getting job seekers to join the portal at scale.

In the past, Jobberman had advertised heavily in print newspapers to inform people of its job opportunities. Yes, an online recruitment was spending money on print newspaper. It made sense because the penetration of the web was not good then. But today, Jobberman does not need to do that. It has to find ways to save that money by making sure those corporate entities and high level executives know of its presence. It can have weekly free ad coupons maintained in some major airports. It can still put adverts in print, but not the jobs ads.

Generally, I do think that the future of the company will be finding a way to build a community of learners. This can be branded Jobberman Tech with services offered to companies and governments. If it develops a reputation of preparing post-NYSC graduates, it will essentially redesign the local job market. I envisage something similar to Udacity Nanodegree.

Aggregating The Vision

The Jobberman trio has a great vision as noted during their launch press many years: connect employers and job applicants in Nigeria, seamlessly.

The unacceptable high rate of unemployment got us totally perplexed and we decided to do something about it. We set out with a mission to organize, deliver and manage the largest catalog of jobs in Nigeria. Jobberman started out in the Garage-converted-to-Office of Ayodeji Adewunmi’s Dad in August 2009 and has its root at the Obafemi Awolowo University. The original founders were Opeyemi Awoyemi, Olalekan Olude and Ayodeji Adewunmi. We are proud of our rich history, the past has shaped the present and both will launch the future as we become the premier career destination site for active and passive job seekers in Nigeria.

They have to evolve to stay true to that vision. But as internet penetrates, more employers will be running their online recruitment portals. The implication is that more channels will exist for job seekers to reach companies that have jobs. As that happens, commoditization takes place in the online recruitment business. The winning model becomes who can aggregate all these jobs in one place. I see in the near future, the opportunity will be the company that can aggregate all the available jobs in Nigeria in an easily understandable way. As I have explained many times in the Aggregation Construct, the person that does the aggregation will rule the specific sector. Under the aggregation construct, the companies that control the values are not usually the ones that created them. By building this technology, Jobberman can win big by mopping the available jobs from all sources, before job seekers, monetizing through adverts.

Under the aggregation construct, the companies that control the value are not usually the ones that created them. Google News and Facebook control news distribution in Nigeria than Guardian, ThisDay and others. Because the MNCs tech firms “own” the audience and the customers, the advertisers focus on them, hoping to reach the readers through them. Just like that, the news creators have been systematically sidelined as they earn lesser and lesser from their works. But the aggregators like Facebook and Google smile to the bank. The reason why this happens is because of the abundance which Internet makes possible. Everyone has access to more users but that does not correlate to more revenue because the money goes to people that can help simplify the experiences to the users who will not prefer to be visiting all the news site to get any information they want. They go to Google and search and then Google takes them to the website in Nigeria with the information. Advertisers understand the value created is now with Google which simplifies that process.

All Together

Jobberman continues to redesign itself as it looks for growth, not just in Nigeria but Africa-wide, albeit through its parent company. The parent company needs to find ways to deepen its strength by creating a new unit that works on the premise of aggregation construct. As Internet penetration increases in Africa, more channels will open. Winning the job recruitment competition will now be dependent on the firm that can bring those jobs  in one ecosystem where job seekers can interact with them.The present model of paid service remains, even as the Jobberman parent firm adds the new service. In an employer market, it is always challenging to run a job recruitment business, since there are always more job seekers than available jobs, giving employers so much power.


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