Once upon a time getting a job was a process of going to your local newsagent, buying a broadsheet, tabloid or local and checking the classifieds section for opportunities. Then the web exploded and SEEK’s and CareerOne’s intrusion into the print domain is now understood as a classic example of digital disruption. But is SEEK’s time in the sun over? Is the next digital disruption of job seeking and recruitment already here?
What is a CV, really? Is it anything more than a collection of professional data, organised inefficiently? And if that’s true, doesn’t it make more sense to just insert that information into a universal form which can be easily understood by hirers?
This is the essential innovation of Found, a job platform for both employers and employees. They throw the CV away in favour of the simple filling out of a profile, that streamlines the data for all employers.
But it’s not their only innovation, says co-founder Andrew Joyce. They’re also mobile-only. If you go to their website you will be directed to download their app. What’s more, they adopted from dating apps the idea of the swipe, you can’t ignore a job possibility, you have to explicitly reject it.
“If you’re an employer we can tell you exactly who didn’t apply for your jobs. Which no-one else can do… For individual employers we can tell you, of the people who saw your job ad, are men or women more likely to apply? What are the age demographics that are likely to apply? And how does that benchmark with other organisations in your industry? As far as I know it’s the only way for employers to actually gauge their employer brand strength.”
(If you want to know what that is, and how to improve your organisation’s, check out our guide.)
They’ve got other attractive features for job seekers. “On current job boards, every job you apply for you have to tell them your name, your email address, and upload a document. Which is just silly from a user experience point of view and is really just a legacy of older technology systems.”
When Found was in the early stages the startup approached large retailing companies like Woolworths and asked what their problems were. One of the tidbits to come out of those discussions was the difficulty they faced recruiting in a major way for the holiday rush.
“The Christmas casual hiring processes ran to 30,000 CVs being read manually, and to cope they needed to staff up HR departments. It’s a six to eight week process where the outcome is 2,000 new recruits that only stay with the company for six weeks. And the type of people you’re trying to hire spend their entire day on mobile, so you’ve effectively had a really bad candidate experience because you’ve pulled them out of this medium they would prefer to be using. And you’ve also had a really negative experience for the HR recruiting teams because it’s just so manual still.”
It’s in this area of higher volume, lower value area of recruiting that Found has discovered what Joyce calls their “sweet spot”, because the people who typically apply for such jobs are young and inexperienced. Which is one reason why some have referred to Found as the “Tinder for Jobs.” It’s not a term the company embraces exactly, but nor is it something they’re running away from.
Before Tinder, the biggest names in online dating were websites like eHarmony, that would attempt to match you with other people based on a CV-like profile. Before that if you wanted to date someone outside of your friend or work circle you’d probably have to put a classified in the newspaper. Sound familiar?
It’s early days yet, and startups go belly-up all the time (though Found recently secured a funding round of $2.5 million). But what is their endgame?
“If you asked Facebook 15 years ago, ‘do you think you’ll have 65 year olds using it?’ They would have said no. My parents are now avid Facebook users. If we can build traction in this bottom end of the market, our candidates will skill up and mature over time. And we want to be their helping them through their career.”
So maybe it should be “Facebook for jobs”. Sounds familiar. Who should be more worried, SEEK or LinkedIn?
Pictured above: Found co-founders Andrew Joyce and Peter Marchiori.