Candidate Experience

Shortlister Spotlight: Meet Brenda, Applicant Care Associate

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At Shortlist, we love building our team almost as much as we love building yours! We have some pretty amazing people across our three offices who have a real passion for what they do and for the Shortlist mission.

Today’s installment of Shortlister Spotlights (a Q&A series to get to know some of our team members) stars Brenda, an Applicant Care Associate in our Kenya office!

Who is Brenda? When not at work, she’s probably in between classes, catching up with friends and family or on some of her favourite series, trying out a new recipe that involves pasta or getting some much needed shut eye! She also likes to make the most use of her commute time reading articles on Medium or a book on her current reading list. Basically embodying one of our favourite Shortlist values, Be a Whole Person.

A fashionista, party-animal or a foodie? Read on to find more about the face behind #CandidateLove!


Hi Brenda! Tell us about what you do at Shortlist:

My role involves working with candidates. Excellent candidate experience is our top priority and as such my role revolves around getting them through their applications by providing information that pertains to the roles we are recruiting for. In addition to that, I also educate both current and potential applicants on how the Shortlist process works as well as ensure that they get feedback on their applications promptly.

I also create content for our candidate blog series where we discuss different issues affecting job seekers and give guidelines on how candidates can get their dream job! Recently, we kicked off a candidates engagement series where we seek to establish deeper interactions with professionals in different fields through training and networking events.

What is your professional background, and what were you looking for in your next career step when you found Shortlist?

Before Shortlist, I was in Sales which involved customer acquisition and education. I then moved to Customer Service which was more of a support role, offering aftersales services and upselling and cross-selling products to existing customers.

When I found Shortlist, I was looking for an opportunity to take on more a challenging role in terms of the scope of responsibilities and expand my knowledge in customer experience. In addition to that, I wanted to be in a space that offers opportunities for both personal and professional growth and development.

What’s your professional superpower?

Empathy.

What’s your favourite Shortlist value and why? (Check out our values here)

Being a whole person: Ever since I joined Shortlist I feel like I’m well on my way to becoming one! As a part-time student and also working full time, it can be difficult to manage both without feeling like one end is falling off your plate. I am fortunate enough to be at Shortlist where we are constantly encouraged to be more than your job.

Because of this, I’ve tried out a couple of new things — for example, I started writing and learnt new skills in digital marketing through managing our candidate social media engagements. I have also been able to have a bit more time for friends and family thanks to the occasional flexibility that my job gives me — I’m now able to plan on when to get my work done and dedicate time to other activities.

What are the three words you would use to describe Team Shortlist?

Brilliant! Upbeat! Industrious!

Brenda also loves fashion!

What’s your favourite Shortlist memory?

There’s so much that happens on a day to day, and I make memories at Shortlist every day! My favourite so far has to be my first week at Shortlist; Aside from the warm welcome, we were kick-starting a major project, and everyone was nervous about how it was going to turn out. We were about nine team members in Shortlist (Kenya office) at the time and having each one of us embody the team spirit played a part in ensuring that the project was a success. The commitment and collaboration did enhance Shortlist One Team value way before it was even made official.

Why is the Shortlist mission important to you?

Helping candidates unlock their potential is important. Shortlist brings a new way into the recruitment process and especially how we treat candidates as we try and bring dignity back into the recruitment. On a personal level, I went through the process and felt the Shortlist difference so helping others through the same and having them feel comfortable and confident in the process is of utmost importance.

As you know, we like to give “high-fives” to recognise when our team members do something awesome. Now is your chance to make a public high five to a fellow Shortlister:

Edinah: Willing to help and always happy!! Literally, it’s contagious!

Olivia: I can’t think of a time I have approached her with questions on anything communications and content related or regarding my role with somewhat difficult responses, that she has not graciously come to my rescue!

Alvin: Ever so generous with his knowledge and experience. I think we have all benefited from Alvin’s expertise both at a professional and personal level.

Mercy: Life of the house for sure! A great listener too.

Ceverene: It’s such a pleasure to work with her; she’s very detail oriented and ensures she gets things done down to the last T.

What do you like to do outside of work?

Girl time is always fun time!

Hanging out with family and friends. This is usually my way of getting out of my head (introverts will understand).

I try and workout whenever I can, and I prefer outdoor activities/workouts. I run every weekend and try to squeeze in 15 minutes for an at-home workout. I find YouTube videos helpful for this. I also have a BBG guide which my colleague Olivia shared with me sometime back and a Shawn T guide for more intensive training.

I am trying to make reading a habit, and so I read a lot more lately. I am currently reading, Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn by John C Maxwell. The book gives insight into why we should not focus so much on our loses and always see these as an opportunity to gain some new perspective and make better decisions. It also paints a clear picture of the damage we can do to ourselves when we fail to learn from our failures or if we allow ourselves to remain defeated.

Have some alone time — I am a natural introvert, but I can be an extrovert occasionally. Hence, I do appreciate time to sit down, organise my thoughts and recharge before taking on a new project.

I also love to listen to music, and a Techno/EDM playlist is always my go-to when I feel myself getting sluggish.

Sleep! My job takes a lot of my mental energy and juggling both work, and school really drains me. This helps me to reboot.

When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I’ve never been one of those people who’ve always wanted to be one thing in life. I have had moments where I could switch up… I remember I wanted to be a musician at one point. My Mother freaked out when I told her this and insisted I study Business instead. When I was in high school, I wanted to be a doctor, thanks to my love for Biology. Then I grew up, and I just could never see myself working in bloody environments or practising on dead bodies.

I have also wanted to be an Architect like my Father — not sure what happened to this one. Last and currently on my list is a Psychologist. I love helping people and giving advice, and I believe I will get around to doing this at some point in my life. 😊

Tell us about a candidate that inspired you?

I’m always inspired by candidates, working with them every day. I admire their determination to keep going and try again even after a setback. I have encountered an applicant who has been declined for positions seven times and kept on trying until she was finally hired for the eighth role she applied to. The resilience and the determination to not give up despite many failed attempts really inspired me.

Another example is a candidate who has attended each training since we started candidate engagement events. What was inspiring about this is the effort he made towards his professional development by taking the time to attend training consistently to upskill himself.

What surprised you about working at Shortlist/ how is Shortlist different than other companies?

Shortlist has a dedicated leadership team keen to help each team member achieve their highest potential. It also offers a challenging environment where you get opportunities to try your hand at different things and learn new skills.

What are you currently reading, watching, or listening to?

Reading Sometimes you win; sometimes you learn by John C Maxwell, watching Dynasty, Star and HTGAWM, and listening to… really depends on my mood or vibe.

Meet Brenda’s bestie, Mimi

Do you have a favourite quote or saying?

My inspirational quote is If I use all I’ve got, God will be all that I’m not! — A reminder to always work your potential, put your best foot forward and believe that you will eventually get to where you want to be!

What is that place in the world you’ve not visited yet but would love to?

Italy! The country of amazing fashion, art and of course PASTA!🍝

Which two individuals, living or dead, would you love to sit next to during your flight back from the above destination?

Trevor Noah — who wouldn’t want to laugh all the way back? — and Ayodeji Awosika — he’s an amazing writer.

Final words?

You don’t have to create a masterpiece every day, some days you just need to paint.


Thank you, Brenda! We are so lucky to have you on Team Shortlist.

Candidate Spotlight: Meet Samson, Credit Officer at Lendable

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At Shortlist, we’re constantly amazed by the talented, passionate candidates that we meet through our platform.

Today we’re kicking off Candidate Spotlights, a Q&A series to learn a bit more about the professionals who’ve found jobs on Shortlist. Follow the series to learn new job search tips, advice on professional development, and all about the positions and companies we’re hiring for on Shortlist. First up is Samson Wawire, Credit Officer at Lendable, the first debt platform designed specifically for African alternative lenders.

What is your professional background, and what were you looking for when you started to apply for jobs on Shortlist?

I have worked as a financial analyst for four years now. My job is all about understanding a company through numbers — we typically do this to highlight key issues facing a potential investor or financier that would affect performance of their investment in the company.

I was looking for a financial analyst role at a challenging and dynamic company so I could continue my professional growth. Thanks to Shortlist, I was able to attain my current role at Lendable!

Lendable is the first debt platform designed specifically for African alternative lenders.

Tell us about your new job — what is your favorite part?

In my new job, I get to meet exciting alternative lenders that help uplift the lives of ordinary people. Most of the companies we engage with provide loans to people looking to start or grow their business so they can create and improve their livelihoods — from motorbike financing to dairy cows funding.

My favourite part about the job is visiting the branches of these alternative lenders and going to the field where you really see the impact on customers. It’s one thing to read on a company page that they have a certain number of customers and they have provided a given number of loans; it’s another thing entirely when you meet these same people and see how they have benefitted from the work that the alternative lenders do and how their lives have been transformed.

How would you describe your team at Lendable in three words?

Creative, fun and easygoing!

What’s your professional superpower?

I’m amazing at crunching numbers! My job is all about finding the story behind the numbers so this is something I’m particularly good at!

What’s one professional development or networking tip that you’d like to share?

You should always look for traits that you admire in your colleagues and try to nurture this same attribute in yourself. Everyone is typically eager to give advice on how they excel at something, so you can get their own personal feedback on how they excel at that one thing you admire the most. This way, the whole team can be your mentors!

What advice would you give to current jobseekers?

Know your worth and what you’re bringing to the table. Once you’re able to communicate this clearly to your future employer, it becomes easier for them to say yes and hire you. In the words of John F. Kennedy, modified slightly, ask not what your organisation can do for you — ask what you can do for your organisation. This way, your employer will be glad to reciprocate after you demonstrate your value proposition to them.

What’s the most surprising or interesting question you’ve been asked in any job interview?

The most interesting question would have to be one that I was asked four years ago when interviewing for my first job: “What would you do if you were awarded 100 million shillings to spend?” That was an interesting question because it was fun to ponder and at the same time the interviewer got to understand my view on money and whether I would spend it responsibly.

Interestingly, my answer has evolved as I have grown as a professional and I think right now I would spend the money way better than I would have 4 years ago!

Thanks so much to Samson for sharing his insights and tips for our very first Shortlist Candidate Spotlight. Want to find a great job like Samson did? Visit our job seekers page to learn about open jobs at leading companies (like Lendable!).

Check back soon for new posts in the Shortlist Spotlight series!