The Good: In February, we began piloting a job placement service to transition experienced former sales agents into formal retail or sales positions at other companies in Nairobi. The first step in the process is collecting data on the job statuses of former agents. Our job placement manager is reaching out to all former agents to see where they have been able to find jobs and if any are struggling to find work. Then he is going to research companies in Nairobi who are looking for talented sales or retail professionals to fill entry level positions. The job placement manager will also hold a training workshop for former sales agents on managing the job search process, writing a professional cover letter and resume, and preparing for an interview.
In addition to piloting our job placement program, LivelyHoods is excited to report that we have gotten two new funding partners. The first is the Arthur B. Schultz Foundation and the second is the Energy and Environment Partnership for Southern and East Africa. We are thrilled to be working be working with both organizations!
The Challenges: We have a few new trainers that we promoted from our sales force – however, we’re discovering that there a lot of challenges with this. Recruitment and training are the first steps in our model and when they are not working properly, it affects our job numbers, which in turn affects our sales revenue. You can see the correlation this month as we are in the red for those three areas, although our sales still improved over January. Ideally, we would like to always promote from within our sales agents, but this is requiring significant time commitments in capacity building from our program manager. To improve the quality of our trainings, we are looking to hire experienced trainers to work with our training staff at each location to help develop their skills and help deliver the trainings. Also, one positive highlight to mention is that even though we trained less people than in January, our conversion rate of trainees to sales agents improved.