Startup Bountly Wants to Make it Easier for Everyone to Find Work

Recruitment startup Bountly, has launched the Beta version of their website to the public with the goal of helping to eradicate South Africa’s high unemployment rate.

They plan to do this by offering what traditional job seeking portals do not.

“Bountly targets the grey area, the undefined and task related work roles, of which there are an abundance in South Africa,” says Carly Jack who launched the startup together with Michael Whelehan.

The platform, which currently only operates in Cape Town, is targeted at students, unemployed individuals, travellers, and individuals hoping to add a secondary stream of income to their households as well as those looking for primary work. There are plans to expand to Durban and Johannesburg later in the year, as well as Nigeria and Spain in the near future.

Users can post tasks for “online” or “in person” gigs in and around Cape Town. Or alternatively make an offer on existing tasks if they feel they are qualified for the position.

CEO Simon Telian explains that like Uber and Airbnb, they have a peer-to-peer review system which allows users to rate one another.

Yesterday the startup announced that they were integrating a 15sec Video Pitch option which allows users to load a video onto their profiles, “to personalize your profile and make it more likely for you to be hired,” says Jack.

“This is going to make a huge difference to people when deciding, who you would like to work with/hire. Each user can do this and you can browse the user profiles,” she says.

“We are seeing jobs for English lessons, surfing lessons, dog walking, admin assistants, bookkeeping, handyman work like building fences, painting etc”

We speak to Jack about choosing a target market and the response to the platform so far. 

Q: Why the focus on this particular market? (students, unemployed individuals, travellers, and freelancers)?
We chose this market, based on the fact that we have found the highest unemployment rates in these sectors. For example, students graduating and not finding work because they have no work experience.

Unemployment rates [are] soaring in South Africa due to companies cutting back on full-time employees, and opting for freelancers. Individuals want to make a secondary income because they are not making enough at their primary jobs to cover the cost of living in SA. Stay at home moms wanting to work part-time with the flexibility to pick and choose what they are able to do do.

Travellers, as they are transient and often look for easily accessible work “on the way” in whichever place they find themselves. People who have multiple skills over and above their primary source of income and  want to [be able] to utilise those skills whilst making money doing it.

Q: What is the trend in terms of the kind of jobs being posted on the website?
The site is for [both] online and in-person jobs. We are seeing jobs for English lessons, surfing lessons, dog walking, admin assistants, bookkeeping, handyman work like building fences, painting etc.

We are also seeing [posts for] in-house beauty treatments, recycling help, cleaning services, deliveries etc so it’s quite varied and exciting to see what people come up with.

So the tasks are quite varied, it’s basically outsourcing your to-do list to willing and qualified individuals in Cape Town. All the things you’ve been meaning to get to, and haven’t, you now have a quick and easy way of getting them done. You set the task, pick a general location, and create a budget and voila! your task goes live and people can make you offers.

Q: Who is posting jobs? Individual, organisations etc?
At present, our user base is individuals mainly, with a few organizations signing up for the online or admin related tasks.

Q: What has the response been?
We have had an overwhelmingly positive response from our users so far. People have found the platform easy to use and navigate.

We are updating the site daily with any feedback and responses we receive from our users. So we really appreciate any and all feedback, it helps us grow and improve with our community.

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Lebohang Thulo
Lebohang Thulo
Lebohang Thulo is the editor of SME South Africa. She enjoys keeping up with the country’s exciting and fast developing entrepreneurship ecosystem. You can find her at @lelele3