Black In Tech

BIT Startup Spotlight – Talentpoel

Scale your business with the best non-technical talent in Africa

When it comes to advocating for the talent and opportunities of African non-tech professionals, 

Talentpoel -derived from the Afrikaans word that roughly translates to ‘Talentpool- is setting the curve with their global platform. Jephtah Abu and Otukpa Lloyd began their company in a time of personal uncertainty and professional changes, but their passion for shepherding African talent to a global market was unmatched.

According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, 490 million people live below the poverty line (1.90 PPP$/day)  in Africa. For Jeph and Otu, this isn’t just a statistical fact, it is a call to action. The pair and their company have not only worked tirelessly to pair non-tech professionals with companies around the world, they also work with local community organizations and charitable entities in an effort to combat poverty and joblessness. “Africa has always had quality, hardworking, and driven talents, the problem has been getting the right jobs. With crashing economies worldwide, a lot of layoffs have been happening in tech in the US.” Otu explains.

Otu deviated from a career in medicine, and despite the pushback for supposedly abandoning a “stable” career, he was more than ready to follow his “drive for fulfillment”, as he puts it. “It takes you in the hardest direction but most fulfilling when accomplished. I left and went into sales, then marketing, customer success, and now all that combined into partnership.While most people don’t see the correlation, my medicine and tech roles are all people facing roles. I’m proud of how far we’ve come.”

Jephtah has 8 years of experience in the tech industry with a background in cyber-security, social media and community management when the idea of Talentpoel was first conceived. “At the time I started Talentpoel, I was in a bad financial situation and it was through the help of my network that I have been able to build the company to this extent.” Jeph says in regards to his quest to build the company both he and Otu founded.  “We’ve had our ups and downs, from clients leaving us within our first three months, to learning a lot. It’s been an amazing journey so far.” 

Years later, Jeph and Otu are making strides and advocating for the African workforce on an international scale. Talentpoel currently collaborates with several companies such as Anambra Techies, Green Fire Talent, and the Finishd app, but they plan to incorporate more partnerships with DEI focused groups. As Jeph states, “We have a lot of talented folks in Africa but the opportunity is scarce. So we’d love to work with companies that believe that Africa is the next frontier for talent and that DEI is an action word not just a watchword.” Otu followed this statement with his wishes to partner with “Any and all companies who see the huge potential in Africa, truly believe in the region’s progress and growth. Our population grows rapidly and that’s a lot of human resources waiting to be tapped, so anyone who wants to join this moving train should come aboard now before the train leaves them behind.” Currently, Talentpoel boasts 5 partnerships with more in the works, particularly with US recruitment and staffing agencies for tech-based companies.

Talentpoel boasts a rigorous selection process when it comes to matching talent to job openings, ensuring that the right person gets the right role. With a three stage vetting process that includes cultural fit and non-technical tests, they’ve got narrowing down candidates to a science. With 460 applicants for a single opening, only 3 make it to the final round to meet with a Talentpoel team member. As daunting as it may sound, Otu and Jeph also make sure that applicants are given feedback should they not make the cut. As Jeph states, “Even though our vetting process is rigorous, we also embed the feedback system into the interview process. Every candidate is given a reason why they didn’t get in. We also ensure that communication is as prompt as possible.” When it comes to hiring the best, they make sure to vet each applicant respectively to ensure they have the skill sets to fit their client’s needs. 

So what does the future hold for Talentpoel? “We plan to have a cohort for training mid-level non-technical talents to become certified senior level talents.” Jeph explains. “This will be a comprehensive cohort for people with 3-5 years experience. After this cohort we expect that they should be able to lead teams/departments.” There is no doubt that Jeph and Otu have the drive to make amazing things happen for their homes and communities. As they put it, Africa is the new frontier, and the talent and passion to excel is limitless. If you’re looking for quality, cost-effective resources to pull in new talent from Africa, look no further than Talentpoel.

Blacks In Technology’s Startup Spotlight focuses on spotlighting and promoting Tech-based startup companies founded by Black people or that have Black people in top leadership positions. If you would like your startup company featured, please contact us.

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