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These Are the 3 Biggest Trends in Workforce Innovation

Keeping up with the changing world requires constant innovation — and this includes hiring. Evolving technology, the shifting generational makeup of the workforce, and a candidate-centric market[...]

February 18, 2020

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New Tinder Style Apps For Recruiting Talent

Courting your candidates

During the 2014 Zentrepreneur conference in Puerto Vallarta, our CEO, Sunil Bagai, shared innovative hiring strategies for attracting today’s talent. It’s well worthwatching. One of his key insights was an updated variation on the theme of “trying before you buy.” This is a philosophy that infuses so many aspects of our lives -- and not just when car shopping. In today’s labor market, which is fueled by advances in communications and social networking, it’s more akin to dating.

We “date” all the time, and that reaches beyond romantic relationships. Even before we solidify a friendship and draw that person into our confidence, we “date” them. Employment, like friendship and romance, is a relationship. It requires some level of dating. When any degree of intimacy is at stake, trust needs to be developed and compatibility tested.

Fortunately, contingent work has made the process easier. Employers can invite freelancers or contractors to join tours of duty, creating an opportunity to assess each person’s work ethic, output, cultural fit, impact and likeability. Meanwhile, talent get to try out prospective employers. In our experience, these tours of duty have led to meaningful, lasting relationships.

Show a little “Tinder-ness”

There’s another aspect to all of this, though. Like successful dating, drawing the best candidates to your organization requires communication, interaction and attention to interpersonal characteristics outside the bullet points of a resume. The importance of social networks in talent acquisition can’t be understated. Savvy recruiters understand that today they need to be targeting their communications to the virtual spaces where passive and active candidates congregate. More importantly, they need to use those channels to engage prospective talent. The recently published High Impact Talent Acquisition (HITA)industry study, conducted by Bersin by Deloitte, found that “mature TA functions are five times more likely to have an effective social media campaign.”

Statistically, recruiters and hiring managers spend six seconds deliberating on their “fit/no fit” determination -- deciding whether candidates will innovate, produce and integrate well with the established business culture. And that really can’t be conveyed meaningfully in a CV. Imagine trying to connect with a person on a dating site by submitting a three-page document that outlines your skills, qualifications and experience in relationships. Determining a good fit transcends an overview of what you’ve accomplished or can contribute -- it requires a dialog, a human touch. This is precisely why more people are turning to simplified dating apps such as Tinder in their personal lives.

Gone are the questionnaires, overly complex algorithms and forms. The app provides a quick, pithy overview and some photos. The formulas that lead to matches are pared down to the essentials. If your profile piques the curiosity of another individual, he or she can express interest in connecting with you by pressing an anonymous “like” button. If you both happen to “like” each other, a conversation is initiated through the platform. And that’s where the real vetting process takes place. That’s when all the other details come out, when compatibility is revealed or rejected, and when “cultural fit” is best determined mutually.

There should be a social recruiting system that mirrors these simplified aspects of dating while combining them with a professional recruiting network, you may think. Turns out, these apps exist, though many remain relatively unknown -- or unused -- in the staffing industry. Yet, they’ve all capitalized on the immediacy and addictive features that caused Tinder to go viral. So let’s take a look at the latest match-making services for talent and recruiters, developed on the principles of social dating in the digital age.


The Switch app, launched this past July, currently seems to reign as the favorite platform for job seekers, especially passive yet curious candidates. The functionality and layout of Switch will invite obvious comparisons to Tinder. Switch also relies on a “card” based system (profile cards that contain critical details about the talent or the position in a clear, easy-to-digest format) and a similar swiping system. Like Tinder, swiping a card to the left passes on a job or prospect while swiping to the right indicates interest in pursuing a live interaction. If a more formal approach is desired, Switch can bypass the chat system and send an email introduction.

“We operate on the five-second resume principle,” explained Switch CEO Yarden Tadmore, “which is usually the amount of time a recruiter spends on a resume. They scan through the typical data points and move on.”  

Anonymity is a key feature of Switch, and what makes it the ideal platform for passive job seekers and the recruiters hoping to entice them. Where Tinder populates a user’s profile by connecting with Facebook, Switch extracts information from LinkedIn, then disguises and trims those details. It’s a great tool in a ferociously competitive job market. Some candidates fear risking their current positions by publicly disclosing their job searches, which could become evident in resumes posted on job boards or social media. Switch prevents that.


Jobr, a few months older than Switch, is another popular mobile app in the Tinder-emulating family. It also aggregates information from a user’s LinkedIn profile. Unlike Switch, Jobr enforces a great deal of transparency, which has led to some criticism. Recruiters may view a candidate’s first name, profile picture, current job, previous employers, educational background, professional summary, skills and mutual contacts. The other concern expressed about Jobr is that by prominently featuring a candidate’s photo as the first point of exposure, the app may unwittingly encourage bias in recruiters -- that of choosing the most physically attractive candidates rather than the best overall fits. Otherwise, Jobr operates much like Switch.


On the surface, Blonk appears quite similar to the previous job hunting apps we’ve mentioned, stylized to fit a Tinder-like aspect. Blonk, however, incorporates one rather quirky and inescapable feature: it requires users to record and upload a 20-second video response to Peter Thiel’s now infamous interview question. The question? “What is one thing I believe that everybody disagrees with me about?”

While recruiters, hiring managers and celebrated venture capitalists might find the query witty or enlightening, a fair number of candidates consider it the bane of an interview. Love it or hate it, the question must be answered to use Blonk. Developers at the company believe Thiel’s conundrum creates an opportunity for talent to stand out among the competition. The risk, of course, is that standing apart in the wrong way could ruin the deal.


The last app we reviewed was Weave, which writer Mariella Moon from Endgadget called “a more boring Tinder to find fellow professionals instead of Friday-night dates.” Yes, the functionality appears no different than Switch, Jobr or Blonk. Yet like these apps, it too promotes a unique feature. In the case of Weave, it’s a focus on networking over recruiting or job seeking. In this way, it captures the essence of LinkedIn more than Glassdoor. As a user’s engagement with members becomes more frequent, the appearance of his or her profile increases within the streams of others. Company representatives say the app is generating more than 100 in-person meetings each day. While the recruiting component of Weave exists, the app clearly emphasizes professional networking. And in this way -- facilitating connections and hook ups -- Weave could be more Tinder-esque than the other apps.

The next iteration of social recruiting

These latest platforms continue to expand on the capabilities of their predecessors in social recruiting, yet they offer unique and interesting new ways to build professional relationships, engage top talent and find perfect fits for a variety of business cultures. And these apps aren’t likely to be passing fads. Investors are taking them seriously. Jobr raised $2 million in seed money, Switch collected $1.4 million and Weave managed $630,000. For recruiters who are struggling to attract top talent and reach the crest of a wave that keeps building as competition in the labor market mounts, embracing these new apps could prevent drowning. Learn more about social recruiting tools by following the link. 

As a practical experiment, we’re working with a job seeker we’ve identified to see how all these apps measure up when compared side-by-side. Keep watching for a forthcoming article in which we’ll post the results.

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