The internet significantly reduced the asymmetry of our gaining and exchanging information. Previously, discovering worthwhile sources of knowledge about any given topic took weeks of research, often including multiple visits to libraries, slow letters, and expensive phone calls. Today, it only takes a few seconds to search and discover what books to buy, articles to read, videos to watch, experts to follow, and online classes to take. Booking a flight or buying pretty much any product can now be done in seconds while lazing on a couch.
Yet, when it comes to hiring talent, the processes involved remain rooted in the last century. Suppose I were to ask you, “Who is the best developer you can hire for your team?” or “Who is the best piano tutor for your children?” or “Who is the best part-time executive assistant you can hire for yourself?” The answer will likely take not seconds, minutes, or hours, but most likely weeks or even months! Not only that: the answer will probably be wrong. At best, you’ll be able to say “Out of the dozens of candidates I was able to review, this is the best person.” However, that’s but a tremendously small fraction of all the people across the globe who might have been a far better match. This illustrates the vast asymmetry of information we’ve become accustomed to in recruiting.
Consequently, most of the talent in the world is going to waste because it never gets exposed to the right opportunities.
What’s the market like today? Recruiting and staffing easily surpass $1T in market size, yet remain ultra-fragmented. Recruit Holdings, the owner of Indeed and Glassdoor, for example, earns billions of dollars a year and shows massive profit margins, all with less than 5% job board market share. There are more than 4,000 job boards. Countries—and even cities—have different sets of leading job boards. Why? We used to find work where we lived. Not anymore. Now, thanks to remote work, instead of talent going to where companies are located, more and more companies are realizing they need to go where the talent is located. Also, there are no platforms optimized for both full-time as well as flexible work, and most candidates want the option for both. With a more remote and gig-oriented world, there’s no way recruiting will scale. At least, not the way it is now.
Currently, we have numerous social networking platforms (from Facebook to Instagram to TikTok, Twitter, Clubhouse, etc.), but there is still only one dominant global professional network: LinkedIn. We believe there is plenty of room for another, and we don’t have to engage LinkedIn head-on. There’s no need, especially when ours is not a platform focused on networking, but rather automating the process of finding talent and finding work.
There are many other companies, both startups, and large corporations, that focus on recruiting automation. In fact, we’re a fan of anyone who is passionate about solving this problem. At the same time, we believe the solutions being developed today are the equivalent of putting a band-aid on a bullet wound.
In 2018, we had a vision: the future of recruiting will be mostly, if not entirely, automated. In the same way that you can run a Google search to find the information you are looking for, in the not-so-distant future there will be networks that match talent to opportunity, removing biases, bringing search time down to barely a blink of what it is today while doing a better job of predicting a person’s fit for a job, a company, a team, an opportunity, than any human is capable of doing. There’ll be a new category of platforms: platforms for automated, smart recruiting. ‘Programmatic Recruiting’, as we call it. And, not only that, this new category has winner-takes-all dynamics.
1. Today, there are thousands of local job boards. That makes sense because jobs used to be purely local. Remote work is global and will trigger a massive consolidation.
2. Users of job boards have been able to switch from one board to another quite easily. They just have to bring their résumé or job posting with them, and that’s it. However, networks for programmatic recruiting will capture tons of data from companies and candidates. It’s unlikely they’ll easily port that data from platform to platform.
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