This week Inside Small Business spoke to Andrew Joyce, co-founder of Found – an online recruitment platform that has been described as “Tinder for job seekers”.
ISB: What was the driving force behind Found?
AJ: Peter Marchiori, my co-founder, and I were supplying communications solutions to Uber drivers and once that was established we were looking for our next challenge. Through our extensive experience in sales, marketing and operations we both felt that the biggest issue for businesses was finding good staff and successfully “onboarding” them, and felt that too many people in Australia had try to solve the issue by replicating what people had done previously. Started building app in 2015 and launched in early 2016.
Peter and I wanted to develop a solution that did not carry the “baggage” other online recruitment platforms have: fundamentally nobody had broken away from the traditional recruitment model that meant applicants still had to write CVS, fill out lengthy forms each time they responded to a job ad and submit a letter of application each time they apply for a role.
ISB: How did you fund the new enterprise?
AJ: We started developing the app in 2015, and were able to achieve that with our own funds. Once we were up and running and needed to scale the business we raised private capital from friends and people we have done business with previously in our professional network.
ISB: And what was the single biggest challenge you faced in turning Found from a concept to a reality?
AJ: There has been no one particular roadblock. The challenge for us was building new products to add to the offering while supporting the exisiting products that were already part of it.
The other important aspect for this app is the need to serve all our stakeholders – what’s the best feature of a recruitment platform for candidates isn’t necessarily the best thing for employers and vice versa, so we needed to ensure we balanced the interests of “both sides of the coin”.
ISB: What is Found’s point of difference compared to the other online recruitment solutions?
AJ: Instead of being search-based, it’s discovery-based. Candidates don’t have to upload CVs or application letters, they simply download the app and build a profile and the app recommends roles based on their past experience and geographical location.
30% of people in the 15 to 30 age group are either unemployed or underemployed, so our core target is people in that age bracket without degrees. Employers define who they want to see the add, i.e. age, experience or whether they’re looking for a full-time or temporary staff member. Alternatively they can search the 250k+ candidates on the platform and look for everyone who fits their criteria and they choose who they want to connect with. That appears as a message on the relevant candidates’ app and it’s up to the candidate if they engage.
The app helps both recruitment agencies and direct employers target more precisely and invest more time in those they’re really interested in. The app provides online chat between employer and candidate. The next functionality will interview scheduling and video-interviewing via the app.
ISB: You now process 300,000 applications per month, and shortlist 500 to 750 per day – how have you achieved such volume?
AJ: We invested heavily in paid online marketing (search, social media etc) and now, increasingly, referrals – the more people who are finding jobs the more they’re recommending it to their friends.
ISB: And, finally, what was the best piece of advice you received, or lesson you have learned along the way?
AJ: Make sure you really want to do it! It always ends up being harder and more expensive than you anticipate. In technology-related start-ups the day you launch isn’t the day you have made it – that’s the day the hard work really starts.