SA startup Gradlinc launches career development platform

South African startup Gradlinc has launched a bespoke career development platform that provides a national database to connect graduates and employers.

Developed by the Innovation and Commercialization unit at Stellenbosch University, and launched in October 2022, Gradlinc offers various opportunities, from part-time and holiday jobs for any student to bursaries, internships, and full-time employment opportunities for graduates.

For employers, Gradlinc offers a talent pool of verified and eligible candidates that match according to the specific job requirements and needs of the company. In addition, Gradlinc partners with Career Offices to support their daily functions and complement their service offerings to students.

Gradlinc started as a Stellenbosch University project to build a career development platform for students and expanded from there, founder Lizane Füzy told Disrupt Africa.

“We spent the last three years on research and started with development last year after we secured funding for the project. Still, we quickly realized that many universities have a similar need for an affordable and comprehensive career development platform. As we continued with our research and engaging with employers, keeping their needs in mind was also persistent,” she said.

“The sheer number of available platforms and advertising was in itself a problem. That is how we got the idea to develop a central database for tertiary institutions so that employers also have a one-stop-shop to recruit graduates. They can even select the university from which they want to recruit or any university in South Africa.”

Stellenbosch University has provided two rounds of funding to Gradlinc, while it is still in its early stages of launch.

“Students are eager to sign up, and we have several employers on board. However, job postings are seasonal. With graduation around the corner for final-year students, there is a huge demand for employment opportunities, so we should have a better idea of ​​the uptake soon,” Füzy said.

“We obtained permission to launch the platform with Stellenbosch University. Still, we are already seeing lots of interest from other universities since we keep the costs to join the platform as affordable as possible while providing a comprehensive service.”

Gradlinc plans to expand into other African countries after rolling out to all South African universities.

“We are actively engaging with companies across the continent to collaborate and bring the best possible tools, training, courses and other resources to graduates to empower them to launch their careers successfully,” said Füzy.

“We are rolling out new modules for entrepreneurship focusing on students who want to start their own ventures — to ensure that they start on the right foot thanks to this learning management system and online courses where students can find all the tools they need for career readiness and starting their first job. We will also be opening up the platform to alumni from tertiary institutions.”

The revenue model is similar to other recruitment platforms where a person can buy job credits for post vacancies.

“The difference with Gradlinc is that we want to break down barriers to graduate recruitment, and we understand the time and budget constraints employers often face. We, therefore, offer flexible options to post jobs, have a shortlist system on the employer’s behalf, or search our database, and our pricing is very competitive in the market,” said Füzy.

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