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Marketplace Morning Report

Swipe right for … your next job?

Brian Watt Oct 7, 2015
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The search for jobs — and for qualified applicants to fill those jobs — moved online years ago.

Now, job hunters and employers have discovered the power of the smartphone swipe. In much the same way as people use Tinder, the swipe is being put to good use in the context of the job market.

Twenty-seven-year-old Arielle Levine has a job but is looking for another one in the field of digital marketing. She’s a devotee of an app called Jobr, which she downloaded a few weeks ago. Levine said she might spend an hour in a Santa Monica coffee shop sifting through job openings on her smartphone.

“If I’m on for an hour, I might swipe 15 rights and five lefts,” she said. Swiping left means she’s taking a pass. Swiping right means she’s applying for the job, and it’s quickly communicated to the hiring manager who posted the job listing.

“I think the swipe is such an awesome feature. It’s fun. It’s creative. And It really lets me have the power,” said Levine, a communications major from the University of Arizona.

That power is not something she’s accustomed to feeling as a job hunter. When she was looking for a job a year ago, she filled out plenty of long and tedious applications online and never heard back from the employers. Levine said she felt like just another resume in a cyber-stack and wondered if a human ever even saw her submission.

“Then I got this app. It’s been two weeks; I’ve already had two interviews lined up,” she said. “I’m just really exposed to jobs that would have never come my way if I’d just tried looking on other job recruiting sites.”

Jobr launched in May of last year, and its creators said it recently passed 50 million job views. Like Jobr, Switch also offers a quick and easy process to create a profile using a resume or a LinkedIn account. Then there’s also Anthology, which used to be called Poachable.

And coming very soon to the app store: JobSnap, which specifically targets Generation Z (22 years and younger). The app bypasses the resume — because most people in this age group don’t have a lot to put on one — and instead allows each young job seeker to create and upload a 30-second video for potential employers.

JobSnap creator Jeff Boodie is building on his experience in recruiting for companies like DreamWorks Animation and a startup known as Intern Sushi.

“We’re basically creating a platform for the next generation of first-time job seekers who love technology and have stories to tell,” Boodie said.

But he’s also focused on businesses like restaurants, hotels and retailers, which need to quickly find young employees with people skills.

“In 30 seconds, you’re able to quickly decide if this is somebody you want because you’ve already seen them, and then you can quickly take the next step,” he said.

Todd Raphael, editor-in-chief at ERE Media, a recruiting information firm, said companies that pay to list jobs on most job-searching apps are mainly in industries where the competition for talent is fierce, like the tech sector.

“Companies want to convey to job seekers just through the job application process that ‘Yeah, we’re hip, we’re cool, we’re with it’  that this application process is somewhat emblematic of what it’s like to work there,” Raphael said.

But he said there’s a risk to companies paying too much to list job openings that will only be seen and clicked on via smartphone.

“People are less likely to finish their job applications when they start them on a smartphone versus when they start them on a laptop or desktop with keys like we used to use in the old days,” he said.

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