With so many Sierra Leoneans being either computer illiterate and even more having no or limited access to computing infrastructure, the benefit of our solution seems limited to the few subset capable of using and having access to computers.
Knowing this, much research and planning effort was put into exploring avenues through which the benefits of our platform can be realized by the large disadvantaged group. We decided to leverage the rich dispersion enjoyed by mobile phones even in rural areas as an alternative service delivery medium.
Mobile Internet & Wireless Application Protocol (WAPs) – Many Sierra Leonean use their mobile devices to access the Internet and this number is on the rise because of the continued cheapen of these devices. Our access logs show that more than 60% of our traffic is mobile-based. As a result, Careers.sl's web-interface implements a responsive design which changes the look of the site based on the size of the viewing device. This ensures that our mobile users are presented with an interface optimized for their viewing experience. You can see an example of this by visiting http://careers.sl with your mobile device if it is Internet capable or using your browser and resizing it until its is very small.
SMS Integration – Users can search for jobs using SMS which is available to all phones regardless of its simplicity. Example:
Sending “Search [job-type]” e.g “Search accountant” to 2424 using an Africell line will return the four of the latest vacancies matching that job type in the case of our example, accountant
By sending “Notify [job-type]” to 2424, you are automatically subscribed to receive sms notifications whenever vacancies of that type is available.
We are currently working on exposing more of our system to SMS.
In the future, depending on the budget at our disposal and the adoption of our service by end users, we plan on implementing an Interactive Voice response system that will allow job-seekers to search through our vacancy database by calling the system and speaking the keyword they want to search on. The system will then reply, using a computerized voice, reading out the result of the user's query. This will be implemented in English and Krio.