Thornhill Office Park, Midrand

Improved Candidate Engagement Makes Harambee a Force for Social Change

A Bridge to Better Opportunities
South Africa has the third highest unemployment rate in the world. Thousands graduate every year, only to find that they’re locked out of the traditional job market. That’s changing, thanks to Harambee. The non-profit organization acts as a youth employment accelerator – recruiting candidates from areas that corporate networks can’t reach, assessing their skills and matching them to jobs in which they’re most likely to succeed.

Much of the heavy lifting takes place in the contact centre, through expertly designed outbound call campaigns. Yet, performance had reached its limits. Advisors manually dialed numbers and hoped that candidates picked up. There wasn’t a line of sight as to why connections were missed or any meaningful visibility into workflows, service levels or metrics.

“It was vital to drive up engagement while making our resources stretch further,” said Jacques Jonker, Head of Contact Centre at Harambee. “So, as well as fitting with existing systems and automating operations, any new solution had to be easy to manage and adapt.”

More Successful Connections with Less Effort
Harambee called on a trusted IT partner. “We’d worked with Pivotal Data for several years and enjoyed exceptional outcomes with networking, data centre and other projects,” said Jonker. “They’re very good at bringing us new ideas and play a key role in improving our operating model.”

Moving to Genesys PureConnect enabled Harambee to create a resilient and highly scalable multichannel contact centre. The company benefits from a flexible licensing model that reduces capital expenditure and provides instant access to features such as chat, advanced IVR, workforce optimization and outbound dialers.

“After simplifying and consolidating a disparate IT estate, the focus switched to big data, making sure information was correctly built into workflows and usable formats for advisors,” said Allan Macfarlane, Chief Technology Officer at Pivotal Data.

The solution has transformed communications. Harambee previously made about 50,000 call attempts a month. Now, it makes up to 1.5 million attempts and has better insights into the best time to call a candidate. If there’s no answer, the system sends an auto-voice message. When the advisor calls again, the candidate likely recognizes the number and answers the call.

“We extended reach into the community by a factor of 30 and achieved much higher pick-up rates with the solution,” confirmed Jonker. “Over the last three months, we had 663,000 successful connections with candidates. That’s 160,000 more than the previous quarter – using fewer attempts.”

Higher Productivity, Better Campaign Results
Released from the burden of manual dialing, contact centre staff work more efficiently. Initially, Harambee targeted a 30% productivity gain, but the solution helped them achieve a 45% rise in productivity. Advisors delivered more than 10,000 assessments and successfully screened 177,000 candidates – up 23% from the previous quarter. Moreover, they spent nearly twice as much time on higher-value work and ensuring that candidates are invited for interviews.

With another ingenious use of the dialer, Harambee introduced effective teaser campaigns. Now, candidates receive voice messages to remind them about forthcoming skill assessments, training seminars and other events in their area. This addition improved attendance rates by as much as 50%.

Customer insights also have increased; response rates for satisfaction surveys are up from 8,500 to 13,000 over the corresponding three months.

Catalyst for Multichannel Innovation
PureConnect empowered Harambee to quickly turn on advanced features and new channels. Since optimising outreach operations, Harambee has consolidated email communications and is currently exploring options to integrate text and web chat into their mobile application. Similarly, the solution can introduce social media management within the contact centre, as needed.

Most importantly, Harambee is strongly positioned to help close the employment divide. “We’re able to support and match more candidates with more jobs than ever before,” concluded Jonker.

At a Glance

  • Customer name: Harambee
  • Industry: Non-profit
  • Location: South Africa
  • Contact centre agents: More than 40


  • Extend into communities and reach more job candidates
  • Improve contact centre insights and productivity


  • PureConnect by Genesys


  • 30 x increase in outbound call volumes
  • 32% increase in engagement with job candidates
  • 50% improvement in event attendance
  • 45% rise in workforce productivity