Funke Talabi is the innovator of CityHires, Nigeria’s first video recruitment portal. According to her , the concept for CityHires was born after various interactions with the human resource department of firms she worked with. She shares her story in this interview.
Growing up as a child, I was always inquisitive and innovative, and trying to find better ways of doing things. City Hires was somewhat designed out of my curiosity to challenge the existing process of recruitment in place. I believed that with the traditional paper resumes, recruitment procedures took longer, so I started working on highly categorized resume portal with video hosting since June 2015.
My name is AdefunkeTalabi; I am the CEO of City Hires, the premier video resume portal in Nigeria. I am a proud alumna of Queens College Lagos, where I completed my Secondary school education and Oxbridge College in Ikeja GRA where I completed my A Levels preparatory lessons. As life would have it, I was opportune to travel outside of my comfort zone (of Lagos) for my Bachelors degree; I attended Igbinedion University for my undergraduate degree in International Relations; this experience certainly exposed me to the diverse and interesting cultures we have in Nigeria and I believe I am a better informed Nigerian for it. Following my graduation from Igbinedion, I was fortunate to attend a leading and prestigious Business school in the UK, the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow for a Masters degree in Business Information Technology Systems. Since the completion of my Postgraduate degree, I have acquired a wealth of experience in Brand Management, Client Services Management and Technical Support from working with leading companies in Scotland and Nigeria including Virgin Media and VConnect.
Inspiration behind City Hires?
As a jobseeker, I longed for non-conventional ways to convince potential employers that I was the ideal candidate for the job. Interestingly, from my interactions with human resources departments of various organizations I worked for, they sought creative ways to improve their ability to pre-screen candidates for jobs quickly. In July 2015, I started City Hires to fulfil this apparent need in recruitment.
City Hires is a video resume portal that enables job seekers to upload their video pitches – short, persuasive speeches to convey their communication skills, charisma, and personality within 60 seconds. It is often said that “First impressions lasts long”. City hires gives you an opportunity to audition before prospective employers and put a voice and persona behind your resumes. By uploading your best video pitch on www.cityhires.com.ng , and using our video resume platform, the suspense which is created with the traditional paper resume is removed, you are better able to convey attributes of your personality that cannot be conveyed using the conventional hard-copy resume; as such, you can stand out from among a multitude of applicants.
For the recruiter, it provides a platform to query a comprehensive database to retrieve the profiles and video resumes of job seekers and thereby enhancing the recruitment process thus making it more cost effective.
Expanding City Hires with the competition of existing job portal?
I believe in life, change is constant, and with a new way of doing things which makes the process seamless, job seekers will be willing to go a step further to connect with their prospective employers and vice versa.
Being a recipient of Etisalat Prize for innovation scheme.
Since the year 2012, Etisalat prize for innovation has unveiled a wealth of innovative products that have improved lives and businesses. I was part of the top 5 finalist for the year 2016 for the creation of City Hires. We were five finalists, and I happened to be the only female amongst the lot. It was an eye opening experience, though I believe we need more women to step forward and be at the forefront of technological innovations in Nigeria. I was really proud that out of the hundreds of applications across 36 states, my brainchild City Hires was at the top 5 in Nigeria.
What and who inspires me!
I am inspired by hardworking and creative individuals; as creativity sets the pace for innovative solutions for the next generation. As the saying goes, the apple does not fall far from the tree, hence the individual that inspires me most is my mother. My mother is a very hardworking and creative woman, always seeking new and innovative ways to excel in her business, I believe I got my zeal for innovation and creativity from her and she has always supported all projects I have worked on.
Other projects and activities:
I am involved in the race for life scheme which seeks to raise funds for cancer research. I believe it remains one of the biggest threats to our generation and finding a cure has become imperative. Hence, I am passionate about participating in activities that will lead to fund raising for cancer research.
I believe one of the major rewards has to be commendation from various recruiters stating that city hires has made the recruitment process in their organisations seamless. The call of gratitude from job seekers who have got jobs from the portal. Lastly, is the recognition by the telecoms giant, Etisalat.
How Job Seekers can come on board City Hires?
An average job seeker can come on board City Hires for free by registering their details on www.cityhires.com.ng and uploading their video resumes which is a 60 seconds pitch. There is a “How it works” tab on the site which gives a detailed explanation on how to upload your video resume.
5 years Vision
We seek to become the major platform transiting Nigerian professionals to the video resume system countrywide. We courage all working class professionals to register on City Hires to be discovered at any point in time by recruiters across the country.
Challenges of Running City Hires
The major challenge faced was the difficulty of most job seekers to do a video resume as most people are not accustomed to it. Providing a perfect pitch for the employer via video is a relatively new innovation, though with the right guidance we have been able to overcome this challenge.
Another major challenge was holding a full time job whilst trying to expand the scope and awareness of City Hires. Eventually, I found a way to balance my dual roles before deciding to give up full time employment to concentrate on expanding the outreach of City Hires.
Being a woman of Rubies?
I believe I am a woman of rubies because I have been at the forefront of technological disruption by pioneering video resume technology for the Nigerian Populace to make recruitment seamless.
In response to the world’s needs, young women should participate in science and technology from early school years to university. In addition, women in technology should mentor young girls about the benefits of a career in science and technology.