Last weekend, 18 residents of Mukuru spent their Saturday at Sanergy’s field HQ. They had all responded to a flier that we posted throughout the neighborhood for a new marketing associate. Of course, there’s nothing quite like referrals from our current team, and they proved to be a great source.
For marketing and branding in the community, we need people from the community. They have their ear to the ground, they know the area like the back of their hand, and they have a real instinct for what generates demand. And it doesn’t hurt that usually the local hires we make are exceedingly popular among their peers and elders.
We’ve had many, many community members ask us for work. Most of these people have limited higher education, little stable work experience, and have never been interviewed formally for a job. As a result, the traditional metrics to identify talent are simply not there. But that does not mean the talent is not there – it’s just a harder nut to crack.
We put the 18 applicants through a marketing gauntlet. Task One was a role play in which the applicant resolved a conflict at a high-pressure event. Task Two was a group exercise testing collaboration skills in which several applicants worked together to organize an imagined wedding. Task Three was a public speaking test in which applicants presented themselves to a panel of Sanergy teammates.
Finally, 5 applicants passed through to a final round of interviews and then a computer literacy test. And, drumroll, we have our newest team member: Peter Macharia. We loved Peter’s previous experiences hosting conferences in the community around HIV/AIDS, organizing environmental clean-ups in his neighborhood, his ability to work with people from different backgrounds, and his passionate desire to change his community in pragmatic ways today.
Onward and upward!