What African startups need to learn from Andela’s recruitment strategy

What African startups need to learn from Andela’s recruitment strategy
What African startups need to learn from Andela’s recruitment strategy

Launched in 2014, Andela prides itself as a company training world-class software developers. It ranks 6th on the 2018 best 100 companies to work for in Nigeria. Needless to say, getting recruited into Andela is a big deal. Applicants, in fact, have a higher chance of getting into Harvard than getting into Andela. However, the Andela goal is to train 100,000 worldclass developers in 10 years.

While Andela’s recruitment may be a comprehensive one, African startups can learn a few things from their recruitment strategy.

Have defined company values

Before conducting recruitment, African startups need to define what values they stand for and look out for applicants that gravitate towards them. These values that the company stands for is what the applicants being recruited should be passionate about. The values a company has also makes people want to be a part of them. It is important for applicants to have ample information about the startups they are applying for as well. Say an applicant does not know who the CEO of the company being applied to is, that is a red flag for recruiting such.

Carry out rigorous screening tests

The Andela recruitment process includes screening tests ranging from personality test to pair programming exercise to stealing the moon (I may have made the last part up). The assessment from each test goes into finding out who will be good employees. These screening tests go into the final selection of the 0.5-1% applicants accepted every year.

The Andela recruitment process starts with a scheduled Saberr personality test to evaluate the applicant’s personality. Then a home study curriculum made available on the Andela website is taken. A quiz is taken based on the home study and on successful completion; a timed main quiz will be undertaken. Successful applicants are then invited to an interview which if passed an invitation to 2 weeks boot camp is received. Following the completion of the boot camp, 6 months training commences after which full-time employment is offered with a partner company.

What startups can learn from this is that to get the best employees, screening all applicants with different exercises to test if they are fit to work in the company is important.

Give applicants an opportunity to learn and grow

The Andela recruitment process features a home study curriculum. This curriculum is to be studied by applicants and at the end of the study period, they are tested. Non-applicants or people seeking knowledge in computer science can equally benefit from the home study curriculum. The Andela boot camp furthers gives applicants access to programming packages which will hone their skills.

Startups can learn from this that not all applicants may have the necessary skills needed to be hired at that moment but with access to some help, they can become qualified. Rather than turn them away completely, create an opportunity to better their chances.

Computerize the recruitment process

Andela being a techoriented company is dependent on, wait for it… tech. The application process for every recruitment cycle is online-based. Historical data from their Applicant Tracking System helps to understand what percent of candidates at each stage are likely to be hired. From the first round of assessment, the personality test is taken online. The Andela recruitment system picks out from the mass of applicants who should be given an interview.

As technology is making running businesses in Africa easier, startups need to utilize tools and resources in carrying out their recruitment processes. From applicants’ qualification screening to online testing to actual interviews, there is an automated tool for everything these days.

Consider a mix of candidates during recruitment

While most companies and startups look for experienced candidates to hire, Andela hires from different experience levels and educational backgrounds. Many may wonder how an accountant can join the tech scene; Andela thinks with enough passion and determination, a developer can be produced.

Startups can learn from this and ditch the traditional method of turning away unqualified candidates and rather focus on seeing the potentials they might carry. According to the co-founder Iyinoluwa Abogeji, the traditional method of recruitment is not sustainable in the long term.

The recruitment process is an important part of any startup or company as the employees hired can influence the growth of the company positively or the other way round. Different startups require different processes. Find those that work for you and implement them.

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