By Lilian Wamaitha
Are you thinking about a career at One Acre Fund, but wondering what the interview, office and work culture are really like?
A while back I wrote an article about Jerry Kamau who had to quit a lucrative career at Google for a job at One Acre Fund. To many it was a wonder why such a young brilliant mind would choose to forego a career at a multinational organization like Google to work in community development?
With many job seekers hoping to work for top NGOs, One Acre fund is among the fastest growing NGO’s in Kenya
It is headquartered in Bungoma but has already branched out in Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania.
But just what do you stand to gain in your career by working for the organization and what does it take to get your foot through the door?
The Interviewing Process
The interview process consists of multiple stages over the course of two to four months.
First, they will review applications on a rolling basis and conduct first round of interviews with candidates when they feel that there is a potential good fit.
Candidates will be asked to participate in a variety of interview formats, and some may be asked to complete written exercises before reaching final interview rounds. These various stages of the process help to assure that only the best are picked to work at Once Acre Fund.
What Do They Look For In An Application?
Since Once Acre Fund works with farmers, the team takes a lot of responsibility and each applicant must demonstrate a capacity to manage complex, high-level initiatives independently.
This means that the NGO is interested in people who have held leadership positions and have experience driving towards results without extensive oversight and you must bring this out strongly in your application.
Equally important is the personality and fit for the given role. For all positions, a humble, no-frills attitude is absolutely crucial.
For instance, if you are applying for a filed based role, you would stand out if you have spent time in developing countries.
5 Tips For Strengthening Your One Acre Fund Application
Think about a HR Manager reviewing between 500 to 1000 applications for a single role? What can you do to stand out?
1. Understand the role you are applying for
When applying for any particular role at One Acre Fund, ensure that you carefully read through the job description and understand how the skills you have would fit into the responsibilities of the job.
For instance a strong candidate for a role like Human Resources Lead would not only demonstrate that they have the necessary HR background; but they would also show how their past experiences have prepared them for key responsibilities of the role such as department management, HR competency management, and reporting.
2. Know the organization in depth
In addition to understanding how what you have will impact the role you are applying for; you need to also understand the working of One Acre Fund. In short, strong candidates also make their business to be knowledgeable about One Acre Fund’s unique approach to development.
They’ll know One Acre Fund’s history, mission, core values, and model, and clearly demonstrate this knowledge in their cover letter, and by asking thoughtful questions during any interviews.
3. Keep your CV short and to the point
More than often, one major mistake that candidates make is demonstrate strong work experience on their CV but fail to give details about the roles they played.
It’s not just a matter or listing the responsibilities you were tasked with at your previous role, but you should also go ahead and show in quantifiable terms the achievements you made.
For example; I brought in 20 new clients over 6 months, surpassing my target of 10 new clients,” or “I secured a Ksh 3 million grant to fund our new initiative.”
Quickly See This >>> Why I Had To Quit My Job At Google For A Career In Community Development
4. Make your cover letter compelling and creative
One Acre Fund as an NGO is passionate about serving farmers and so it only makes sense that they want to hire talented people who share that passion.
Your cover letter should serve as your opportunity to make a case for yourself about why they should bother inviting you for an interview.
Use your cover letter to show that you share in their passion of putting farmers first and not necessary what you stand to gain. Also, illustrate how your skills and experiences match the role you are applying for.
Take away; don’t fall into the trap of wasting a lot of time and space on your cover letter explaining things that they can easily deduce from your CV.
Instead, use it as an opportunity to creatively communicate how you can add real value for the farmers that they serve.
How attractive is the salary at One Acre Fund?
The NGO starts with a modest salary package as indicated in their job descriptions. However, this is a career-track role with fast raises for performance, paying a meaningful salary for long-term placement in developing nations.
Other benefits such as health insurance, offering immunizations to employees travelling abroad, and catering for the flight and accommodation fees can be enjoyed by an employee.
Their benefits package is also inclusive of airtime, transportation allowances and performance based incentives.
In the end
If you are looking to apply for a job at Once Acre Fund, incorporating these tips into your application and understanding the application and interviewing process will substantially increase your chances of making it past their CV review.
Lilian is a Communication Officer at Career Point Kenya. What other companies would you like to see covered in future? Share your sentiments below as well as what your opinion is about this particular article.