Professional network Insidify.com offers users the opportunity to improve and make good use of their networks as part of their search for jobs, offering a range of service to empower its users to engage their social and professional connections better in identifying career opportunities. Founder and chief executive officer (CEO) Emmanuel Okeleji spoke to HumanIPO about the platform, what role it performs and how it differs from LinkedIn.
HumanIPO: Where and when was the idea behind the platform developed?
Okeleji: It was at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife in 2009. We hit the brick walls and stopped a number of times. We finally launched fully in May 2012.
There are several job sites in Nigeria, what is unique about Insidify?
There are truly several Nigeria job sites already, over 45 on my last count. No single one of these 45 or more brings our unique sets of value propositions to the table.
Insidify.com is more than a jobsite, we are a professional platform where individuals improve and put their network to good use, an aggregator (like Google) of jobs and resumes.
Insidify.com offers a range of services that empowers its users to engage their social and professional connections better in identifying job and career opportunities. Unlike on other platforms where job seekers just post their CVs and ‘hope’ to get hired, Insidify provides a platform where job seekers, employers and other professionals can actually connect with one another and make meaningful and productive interactions that lead to recruiting and other career-related decisions. To my knowledge, these offerings are unique to us alone in Africa, and arguably globally.
What are the major achievements you have recorded on the platform?
I will say we have been able to cross several numeric milestones. Occasions that have buoyed our confidence.
What are the peculiarities of online recruitment compared to the conventional methods?
Online recruitment is faster, in real-time and more comprehensive. It also provides quick access to far more information on both sides of the table; for the job seekers and employers. The day of the ‘paper technology’ is almost over, the internet is already becoming the new convention.
Think of it this way. What would have happened if we invented the internet and computer technology before paper and the printer? Do you think we would have limited ourselves to the paper resume? I think we would have done more. We would have used pictures and videos and endorsements and several other media to make ourselves stand out of the jobseeker/employer crowd. That is how we see our work at Insidify.com. Realistic enough to still connect with the norm, innovative and nimble enough to question the boundaries.
How can a job seeker maximise the online interface to secure jobs?
First, join Insidify.com, upload your resume and connect away! All the jobs are here, except a few fringe ones. So you really should start your job search from us, build a network you can leverage and project your brand for employers and other professionals to see. You will find other relevant job sites through us and you can apply for jobs wherever the jobs are.
The internet is where the fate of most job seekers are determined now. If you are not here, you better come on over!
Where do you get the listed jobs from?
We aggregate job openings from all major Nigerian job sites, company career pages, newspapers and classifieds. This is so that job seekers and professionals alike can have access to all Nigerian jobs from one place and not miss out on relevant openings. We will soon begin to accept direct job posting on Insidify.com and this will be free.
The layout of the web page looks like LinkedIn, is it intentional?
Our value proposition and LinkedIn’s overlap in certain places, but we have set out to do something substantially different from them. We are in no way a LinkedIn clone and I would like to think our layout is even more attractive and minimalistic, when compared to LinkedIn. We set out to express what we do in the simplest of ways, especially bearing bandwidth issues in Africa, that’s what guided the design of our layout, not LinkedIn.
Just like LinkedIn, there are several packages on Insidify for users. What are they?
Our value offerings are tri-pronged. Jobs Aggregation, Professional Networking and Resume Aggregation. Everything we do emanates from these three. LinkedIn basically focuses on professional networking alone. LinkedIn doesn’t aggregate, LinkedIn is not resume-centric although you can find profiles and resumes on LinkedIn. Our strategy is borne out of our understanding of the peculiar labour challenge of Africa, where unemployment rates are in the distant double digits. A complete solution must be one that aggregates everything, jobs, employers and professionals, and that is what Insidify.com does.
How many users are there in the various categories?
Since we launched nine months ago, the numbers have been encouraging. The market has responded positively. We are about to launch the beta of a platform for employers, a platform that will match employers with talents and we already have huge interest from Nigerian employers.
What are the challenges you are facing?
The usual challenges that face startups the world over. Finding skills, getting mind share from all classes of customers. Typically for a Nigerian startup, most of what you have heard people say before: power, logistics, infrastructure, regulation, the whole works! But again, that is life. Opportunity lies in the jaws of challenges, so it’s all part of the job.
What are your prospects for the future?
Looking at the future from where we started and where we are right now, I must say the future is promising for our users and for us as a company. We will continue to innovate at the “speed of thought” to achieve our goal of organising Africa’s professionals using world class technology to give the best values to our users. Towards this, we are currently working on a series of new features. Our eyes are on Africa.