Announcing Our Merger with Spire

Today I am thrilled to share that Shortlist has acquired Spire Education in a unique merger that we expect to unlock the potential of both companies. Spire, founded in 2013, has been a pioneer in the East African talent development space, working with dozens of companies to equip employees with the skills needed to succeed in diverse workplaces. Shortlist, launched in 2016, helps growing businesses source and screen junior and mid-level talent for a range of role types, and has worked with over 100 companies across India and Kenya.

Now, our combined enterprise can more seamlessly support talent-forward organizations across the spectrum, from recruiting to onboarding to on-the-job training.

We will also, for the first time, be able to engage job-seekers directly with training, job search support, and access to awesome careers. With this acquisition, Spire CEO Jenn Cotter will become Managing Director of Africa for Shortlist/Spire, teaming with Shortlist’s current Kenya Country Director Ariane Fisher and the rest of the Shortlist team, who will continue delivering our core services to our terrific clients.

To put it simply, this is a match made in heaven. Why? Let’s start with what’s most important to us: team and culture. Our teams have been collaborating for months, hosting a series of events for talent-minded executives in Nairobi. From the beginning, we’ve been struck by the similarities of our teams and values. We share a commitment to personal responsibility, openness, adventure, curiosity, and unlocking potential. To put it simply, we wouldn’t have gone forward with this if we didn’t share a cultural foundation and core “why” to our work.

We’re also excited by the possibilities on a strategic level. We are already working with many of the same companies, and this allows us to seamlessly combine our services into a unified offer. Shortlist can help companies build their teams, and Spire can help make sure those teams are equipped with the skills needed to succeed.

Over time, we intend to go even bigger.

Spire brings world-class curriculum and an experienced team of content creators and trainers. We bring technology and a data-driven approach to vetting talent, as well as relationships with over 50,000 local professionals we’ve screened so far. With these assets, we occupy a privileged position to reach professionals directly and help build their skills, discover great opportunities, and access the careers of their dreams. This will enhance our ability to find great hires for our employer clients, and in turn, as we facilitate more hires and track what makes them successful on-the-job, our ability to train and advise professionals on critical skills will get even more focused and effective. We will build a truly exceptional talent flywheel that gets better and better with each hire and each training.

So what happens now?

We will bring our Nairobi-based teams together to work with and learn from each other under the same roof at Daykio Plaza. We‘ll immediately look for ways our combined offers can create value for our existing and prospective customers. Shortlist and Spire will maintain separate brands for now, and Shortlist India will continue business as usual. Over time, we will co-create the bigger vision for how “1+1=3.”

It’s an exciting time for us. We’d like to thank Blue Haven Initiative for their investment and belief in our joint vision and the Mayer Brown team for their generous ongoing legal support.

Shortlist is so grateful to the entire Spire team for joining us on this swashbuckling adventure — Shortlisters unite! And I’m particularly eager to work more closely with Jenn, a truly amazing leader, teacher, and friend. Here’s to the future!

Happy hiring (& now training),
Paul

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