Samba Lo, CEO et fondateur de SociumJob.afrique

Samba Lo SociumJob.RH recruitment



The Africa Tribune : How did the 29-year-old polytechnician that you are choose to get into the online recruitment sector?

SambaLo : I am Senegalese and I grew up in Dakar before leaving to study in France (graduate of the polytechnic school, editor’s note). I worked as data scientist at Deloitte before joining the investment banks Goldman Sachs, then Rothschild in the mergers and acquisitions department. I then worked for the startup Skeat and at each stage of my journey, I had the desire to return to Africa.

Unfortunately, I did not have access to job offers in general, and I quickly realized that candidates who did not have any personal network saw their chances of finding a job in Africa very low. (…).

After talking with nearly a hundred human resources (HR) professionals, I realized that there was a real need to connect companies that were struggling to recruit, to candidates who were having great difficulty accessing offers. employment. It is from this observation that SociumJob (“partner” in Latin, editor’s note) was born, in September 2021.

What does SociumJob cover in terms of services, human resources, customers and geographical presence?

SociumJob connects companies with job seekers in Senegal and Côte d’Ivoire. To do this, we have a job board (an online CV library, editor’s note). Socium is also an HR communication tool that enhances the employer brand through the production of photos and videos available online, in which managers present the reality of their company. It’s much less “cold” than a simple job description. When we know that 70% of candidates apply to companies they know, the question arises of attracting talent to an unknown company. We are also capable of deconstructing the “a priori” from which a company already known to the general public would suffer.

The second value proposition of SociumJob is based on our tools and in particular on our ATS (Applicant Tracking System, editor’s note) very efficient that we have developed in-house ” from scratch “.

Our platform is available free of charge for candidates and is subject to subscriptions with gradual rates, very competitive for companies (…) Since its launch, SociumJob has generated great interest from companies and talents ( …) Today, we are about fifteen collaborators divided between an office in Dakar and a second in Abidjan. Our startup is growing.

What are the recruitment platforms in Africa compared to other regions of the world? What about the differences between French-speaking and English-speaking Africa?

The gaps are significant, but they should be put into perspective. Overall, apart from Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya and Egypt, the levels are roughly similar from one African geography to another (…) Less than 5% of job offers jobs in Africa, are posted online, while in some European countries, laws go so far as to require the posting of offers online by virtue of the fight against discrimination. In much more mature markets like France, there are a plethora of job platforms and most of the offers are posted on the Internet.

What are the sectors of activity that make the most use of online recruitment in Africa?

It depends on the maturity of the companies, but we nevertheless have a strong demand for web developers. There is a real tension on these profiles. In more traditional sectors such as finance, telecommunications or auditing, we also receive recurring requests. Since the discovery of oil and gas in Senegal and Côte d’Ivoire, the oil and gas sector is recruiting massively. This has a significant impact on related activities such as metallurgy, port and airport activities in particular. Newly established companies need to recruit their executives and this creates a very interesting dynamic on the job market.

What indicators have been used to measure your performance over the past year?

From the creation of SociumJob, everything went very quickly. We started our activities in September by carrying out a test with 3 companies. Very quickly, the product took. We marketed from November and the contracts followed one another with reference companies, arousing interest around our startup. In February-March, we started our road show to raise funds. Investors came forward fairly quickly, such as Kima Venture (Xavier Niel’s fund, editor’s note) Evolem, Breega Capital and Teranga Capital. At the same time, several business angels such as the founders of Meteojob or Dimitri Farber, co-founder of Tiller, but also local players such as Mohamed Diaby (ex Criteo) in Côte d’Ivoire or Julien Guth (ex Managing Director of Millicom Senegal) for example , supported us.

It is still premature to reveal our figures, but we are recording strong growth (…) When we launched SociumJob, we thought we would sign our first contracts with local SMEs, but the first company we signed with was EY. To date, our portfolio is essentially made up of large accounts such as Orange, Philip Morris, La Compagnie fruitière or Mazars: all companies that are looking for a platform on which to post their job offers.

Do you plan to extend your HR services to consulting, pre-qualification or reference checks, for example?

Our service is currently limited to software. We sell tech. In terms of candidate pre-qualification, we are planning to soon offer customers a technical and personality test management tool. We are also working on a staff administration tool (payroll, leave management, etc.) which will eventually be integrated into our platform.

After a first seed round between February and May 2022, you raised 1 million euros from venture capital funds. How will these funds be allocated?

Firstly, it will serve us at the level of the ” go to market “. We will be able to carry out recruitments that will accompany our regional growth, in the French-speaking area to begin with. Then, we will strengthen our brand image through a fairly aggressive content marketing strategy that will make us known throughout the region. Finally, these funds will allow us to invest in technology because we want to offer the product that offers the best possible user experience, to maintain our lead in terms of customer satisfaction.

How will the geographic deployment of your activities take place?

We will have a “Sahelian hub” whose nerve center will be Senegal and which will radiate in Mauritania, Mali, Niger and Guinea – although the latter is not geographically included in the Sahelian geography. The second hub around Côte d’Ivoire will extend to Burkina Faso, Benin, Togo, Gabon and Cameroon. Finally, the Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo will be the subject of special treatment, due to their very different labor market typologies. In the long term, we also wish to extend our activities to English-speaking Africa.