Employment Firm Shortlist Reveals New Data on Kenyan Job-seeker Experiences

Shortlist Meeting with Candidates
Shortlist Meeting with Candidates

Shortlist Meeting with Candidates

We have previously covered the offerings of Shortlist, a technology firm that has figured out how to digitize the recruiting process. A piece that highlights the company’s business model can be read here.

A few days ago, we managed to have a chat with the recruiting technology company. The meet was purposely timed to coincide with its ‘Unlocking the Next Generation of Kenyan Talent’ report that summarizes new data on the experiences and opinions of local professionals and job seekers.

Shortlist gathered the data from more than 5,500 professionals and candidates in the country. The same statistical sample had sought the services of the firm, for which the latter collected online surveys applicants to delve into the workings of the local job market in term of unemployment, the challenges faced during the application process and opportunities for learning new skills, to mention a few.

Shortlist says the survey is one of its largest fact-finding activities to date.


Shortlist has found out that sustained unemployment and unfair biases during the hiring process are still present in the Kenyan job market. In particular, almost half of the people who were part of the study have revealed their desire to leave their current posts for more fulfilling positions. This has been backed up by their applications for longer than six months.

About 22.3 percent of respondents reported feeling that they encounter bias when seeking greener pastures, and one in four or 25 percent of the statistical sample said that it was highly beneficial to have an inside connection in a company to be even considered for a job. This goes against the fact that merit trumps over connections and nepotism as far as hiring is concerned.

Furthermore, the report discusses the specifics of demographic data such as gender, the amount of work experience and employment status in how they shape the perception of their job search. For instance, a job-seeker who has been applying for opportunities for more than six months is almost twice as likely to feel they are being stonewalled in securing employment than someone who has just begun their job search.


“Unlocking the Next Generation of Kenyan Talent” uncovers candidate opinions on the job application experience, presenting key points in the recruitment process where Kenyan employers can improve. For example, the survey found that while 73.5% of respondents find it important to receive detailed feedback from employers and recruiters on their job applications, only 23.4% reported that they do in fact receive this sought-after feedback.

“This data presents actionable feedback from a big number of Kenyan professionals, and suggests ways that employers can be more candidate-friendly and attract the best talent,” said Paul Breloff, Co-Founder and CEO of Shortlist. “For example, if two-thirds of professionals believe that their CV alone does not allow them to showcase their ability and fit for a role, employers should explore other ways to assess their skills. This is where applying data-driven and tech-enabled approaches can revolutionize the Kenyan employment market, both for employers and job-seekers.”