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Afringa, Elpha, and more: some interesting sites for you

It’s time to take a look at some interesting (and new to me) sites and services out there. The last time I looked was a while back, and this being a growing industry, there are of course plenty more. So without further ado, let’s see what we’ve got:

  • 10x AscendYes, that is really their name – and although I can intellectually understand why they picked it, it’s maybe not the best choice for marketing. Anway: 10x Ascend helps software development, cybersecurity and data science professionals negotiate for better deals – basically, like a talent agency for geeks. Interesting idea, eh? Founders Michael Solomon and Rishon Blumberg started out in talent management for the music industry, then began representing tech freelancers with their firm 10x Management – and decided that there was an opportunity to provide similar services to full-time employees.  It says it’s already helped nearly 50 senior tech executives negotiate their job offers, increasing their compensation by an average of 35% — and as much as 100% in some cases. Based on the developers I know, this actually makes perfect sense. I’ll be interested to see if other similar agencies emerge.
  • Afringa: Afringa is pitching itself as LinkedIn for Africans. Since its launch in 2017, it has moved from Frankfurt to Rwanda, and has 3,500 members in 40 African countries. Unlike LinkedIn, however, Afringa relies on video introductions by members to provide validity for employers, and then suggests matching jobs to the members. On the employer side, the site combines screening questions with the video introductions to help employers find candidates more quickly. Sound promising – the challenge will be rolling out effectively across the continent.
  • TaxCreditJobBoard: I suspect you’ve never seen a site like this: a job board that focuses job seekers who are screened and vetted so that they will provide tax credits for the employers that hire them – up to thousands of dollars per hire. It works like this: the job seeker goes through a series of questions to determine if they will meet the criteria of the Work Opportunity Tax Credit program, which provides employers with up to $9,600 tax credit if they are hired. Employers specify the types of job seekers they need. Then the site matches them up. The Tax Credit Job Board was launched by FIS, a financial services technology firm and EBT processor. EBT job seekers include individuals who receive food stamps or supplemental security benefits, who have been unemployed for 27 weeks or more or who are living in low-income communities.  Very interesting idea – if they can get the word out to the right kind of job seeker, seems like it could be a real ‘win-win’ situation!
  • AmazingHiring: This site doesn’t target job seekers – it targets (as you might guess from the name) recruiters. Specifically, recruiters focused on tech talent. As with similar sites such as SwoopTalent, AmazingHiring aggregates profiles from other sites, such as GitHub and StackOverflow, then lets recruiters use its internal ‘AI-powered’ search tools to find candidates, reach out to them, and do other useful recruiting things. It also has an open API so users can integrate into their own ATSs – and has some prebuilt integrations for Greenhouse and SmartRecruiters. The service – which was founded in 2011 – seems to have a substantial amount of support materials for its users. Seems ripe for an acquisition by an ATS, eh?
  • ElphaElpha is essentially a members-only chat room room for women in technology – with a job board attached. At this point, most of the content seems available to read, with only a sliver of it actually ‘walled off’ for members. But it could provide real value if Elpha puts enough effort into moderation. The job board is skimpy – but Elpha asks for your resume, so I suspect they will expand it. We’ve seen this before – but it’s still a nice implementation of a ‘members-only’ site.
  • CommunoThis site targets ad and marketing agencies, and the people that work with and for them. The ad and marketing world has long used freelancers – either on a short-term or ongoing basis (often ending up hiring them as full-timers). Communo gives agencies and ‘solopreneurs’ a way to connect. A smart twist for the platform is to provide vetting of the freelancers – which I suspect they also use in their sourcing service. This seems like an intelligent way to handle an existing industry’s talent flow (smarter than Upwork, in my opinion). The service – which launched in 2017 – will, I suspect, thrive.

Each of these services has an interesting twist on their approach (some more than one, actually!). I always find it useful to see what others are doing, and see where else it might apply. I encourage you to do the same!

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This Post Has 2 Comments
  1. Elpha’s website is horribly slow. GTMetrix gives the site a grade of “D” overall for performance — yikes.

  2. I am living in Nairobi, Kenya and just checked out afringa. Seems to be a cool concept as they allow you to make new business contacts and find jobs in your local area. Can’t find this particular funcrtions on Linkedin yet and no focus on Africa too.

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