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Why is this Startup Launching Tinder for Jobs and What else are Companies Trying to Attract Talent

It's challenging to attract millennial talent ©unsplash
It's challenging to attract millennial talent ©unsplash

Swiping left and right for like and dislike is a long established concept and user habit. But is it applicable everywhere? Since we’ve seen variations like app for dating professionals and filtering by the job, or LinkedIn being used as a dating site, Tinder being used for hiring etc., it was a matter of time to have a swiping app for job search. So here’s one also on the Bulgarian market – nPloy.

In the past months, the local market has seen several attempts to improve the job search and hiring process, especially when it comes to digital savvy, IT and creative talents. However, there’s one fact that sometimes remains neglected – there’s a talent shortage, and the job posting or talent attraction mechanisms are short-term solutions for companies that can afford them.

Changing habits: from search to job matching

Millennials and young professionals with a finished or ongoing university degree who are looking for opportunities mostly in the fields of IT, marketing, business and administration, finances and BPO, are the main target group also for nPloy.

The app is the first product of a Higher LTD., a young company of two – the psychologist Konstantin Tsonev and the engineer Tsvetoslav Zahariev. In the beginning, the co-founders were looking only from the candidate’s perspective.

They wanted to offer the new generation professionals a tool adapted to their dynamic lifestyle and habits but they soon realized there was a bigger issue on the talent market. “The job supply and demand market, in general, is outdated and inefficient for both the professionals and the recruiters,” tells us Tsonev.  The founders believe their mobile app could make the processes much more efficient for both sides. It seems that the roles have changed – sought after talents are the ones who chose where to work, and not the employers.

“Pay per Interaction” model

It all works similar to Tinder – both employers and candidates set their requirements, and the algorithms help them find each other. There’s also a chat function, which becomes available after a match.  Setting up a profile takes up to 10 Minutes and swiping through is free for both sides. And while it remains free for candidates, the companies have to “pay per interaction”. In other words, employers can browse and review candidates based on skills and qualifications but don’t see any personal and contact data. To interact with candidates, the companies need to pay for the posting. There are also subscriptions, the founders explain.

According to the team, there are also the first users – currently, around 20 companies are posting positions – mostly HR companies like HRS and Easy Consult and IT companies like Accenture and Proxiad. “We already have “matches” and interactions between recruiters and professionals, but they are still in the interview process, as far as we know,” says Tsonev. The app was launched around a month ago in Bulgaria, and the team hopes to enter also Romania by the end of the year if the model gets validation.

Other creative solutions

This is not the only recent experiment on the market aiming to pour more energy into the talent market. One example is Noble Hire, which aims to democratize the referral process and take it out of the companies. Noble Hire is a marketplace that brings together advanced company profiling, professional communities, and referrals and has raised €250K to experiment with the concept. Similar to other job marketplaces Noble’s service is free for everyone, up until a certain moment. The model is pay-per-hire. In other words, as soon as a company hires someone a sum equivalent to two monthly gross wages of the new employee is automatically blocked from the employer’s account and stored for three months. The blockchain technology prevents referrers from recommending the same candidate every time the three months in a company are over.

Another try, even though it had less to do with technologies, was the recent campaign by Paysafe. The company collaborated with escape room startup Dextrophobia to launch a temporary escape room for developers only as part of its talent scouting process.

Let’s face it: there’s a huge talent gap, not only in IT

Of course, all those models are interesting and deserve attention, but the question remains: is the process outdated or is there a deeper issue? In January, during the World Economic Forum in Davos, concerning expectations were shared: by 2020, Europe will experience a shortage of 760K tech and digital professionals. The presented during the WEF “Innovate Europe Report 2019” suggests some longer-term measures. The teaching of digital skills in schools, more budget for innovation supportive initiatives, promotion of entrepreneurship (especially for women), sandboxes to experiment with new business models, funding for digital platforms in strategic industries (e.g. automotive industry) and easier access to public data, to name a few. In order for Europe to be able to catch up with the US and to create a connection to the US, about €80B public funding for R&D would be needed, says the report.

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