Female engineer develops tech recruitment software to reshape the way we hire forever.

Written by Brandason, Strategic Communications Firm for the Tech By Her Accelerator, powered by MEST with support from the Tech Entrepreneurship Initiative, ‘Make-IT in Africa’, (implemented by Deutsche für Gesellschaft Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Today’s rapidly evolving world has brought with it an ever-increasing demand for a highly specialized and technical workforce capable of managing new technology and ways of working. In 2019, LinkedIn’s analysis of job postings determined that the most in-demand skills were in technical categories like cloud computing, artificial intelligence, and analytical reasoning. Meanwhile, a recent survey suggests the reality of finding this talent is bleak, with 87% of IT executives saying it’s challenging to find skilled technology professionals today.

Fortunately, a new tech recruitment software, aptly named CodeLn, has been designed for just this — to seek the best tech talent in Africa and connect them to employers and recruiters. Founded by Elohor Thomas, an Engineer with over 10 years of working experience in sales, engineering, and education, together with Philisiah, Dexter, and Dennis, who together have over 26 years of work experience in software, recruitment, and sales, CodeLn allows recruiters to post jobs, manage and assess candidates, and present the highest prospects with job offers in one platform. In effect, CodeLn automates the entire tech recruitment process end-to-end.

CodeLn was birthed after the four founders conducted in-depth market research into the challenges associated with recruiting programmers. They found that on average, it takes 3 months to fill up a key tech role, which is both hectic and time-consuming. ‘We decided to develop a solution that would make the entire hiring process fast and efficient for companies to seamlessly hire qualified African Programmers. As engineers, we had the expertise and tech skills to build the product and the experience to make it relevant. We also spent a lot of time interviewing both recruiters and programmers to properly understand their challenges with the tech hiring process’, says Elohor. So it came as no surprise when the market was very welcoming of the solution. ‘Recruiters and programmers are signing up in their numbers and we have great testimonials from our users and even repeat customers, which for us, is a huge indicator of success’.

Elohor Thomas, 2nd from left with her 3 Co-founders.

Today, CodeLn offers users three valuable advantages over its competitors: a reduction in tech recruitment time by 80%, a reduction in the risk of a bad hire by 70%, and a placement fill ratio of 90%. As a testament to the startup’s drive for excellence, they won the ‘Launched in Africa’ Pitch Competition, SMW Lagos in 2019, and in 2020, they were accepted into Forbes’s first Accelerator in WEST Africa. They’ve also pitched in Techcrunch Africa.

The CodeLn interface. Photo Credit: Elohor Thomas

In 5 years, Elohor hopes that CodeLn will become the global go-to marketplace for finding skilled African Programmers and recognized for bringing diversity into global teams. She also hopes that governments will make coding or digital skill compulsory for Basic and Secondary Education as she believes that exposing the youth to these skills will eventually help improve innovation across Africa.

Speaking on her experience as a female founder, Elohor says it’s been both positive and negative. ‘Each time I go to a meeting with our male salesperson, the client always assumes he is the boss. I have gotten so used to it that it doesn’t bother me anymore, it only takes a few minutes of me speaking for them to realize that I have technical knowledge and value to offer. At the end of every meeting, they give me compliments and this always makes up for it.’ Ultimately, this founder believes that there’s space in tech for everyone. ‘Find your place and fit in, be it coding, digital marketing, design, or product management. The tech career is very rewarding.’

As a leader, Elohor adopted a coaching leadership style which she says helps her to unlock the potential of her team. ‘I aim to give them direction, to help them tap into their ability to achieve all that they’re capable of.’

Like most people, Elohor is also inspired by those who have gone before her, especially, Christine Ntim, a Haitian-American technology entrepreneur, keynote speaker, and eco-system start-up expert. ‘ I just love her energy and drive for creating an impact in the African Startup Ecosystem and beyond.’ As part of the first cohort of the Tech By Her Accelerator program, Elohor has also had the opportunity to engage with leading entrepreneurs and female founders in Africa to help grow, scale and develop her business. Speaking about her experience, she said ‘The webinars and mentoring sessions have been very insightful. I have learned a lot which I am currently integrating into my business and team.’

With the COVID-19 pandemic aiding the growth of remote and distributed work, it has also opened the door for more hires from the continent and globally, positioning CodeLn at the center of this evolution. Combined with the growth of AI companies on the continent, CodeLn’s dreams of becoming the go-to for global talent in tech may be just around the corner.

About Tech By Her

Tech By Her Accelerator program is a three-month industry-agnostic program for ten (10) female founders of early-stage tech companies in Ghana, Kenya, and Nigeria. The program fuels growth among female-led businesses by recognizing and maximizing the unique strengths of the female entrepreneur and equipping them with the needed knowledge, tools, and resources to scale and sustain their businesses in a competitive environment. The program recognizes that the diversified use of tech in the industry has gone a long way in creating a more gender-inclusive and balanced world and seeks to empower women who have ventured into the industry to aim higher and go global.

The largest Africa-wide technology entrepreneur training program, internal seed fund, and network of hubs offering incubation for startups: www.meltwater.org