Friday 30 September 2016

Tapping into the brave new world of hiring the right staff

Why Jobbio may be the future face of recruitment

Published 10/05/2015 | 02:30

BIG jobbio:
BIG jobbio: "On every employer's website, there's a "jobs button that often goes to a black hole. Our aim is to replace that "jobs" button,' says Stephen Quinn. Photo: Tony Gavin

Dubliner Stephen Quinn knew nothing about recruitment a few years ago. Yet he is now chief executive of Jobbio - an Irish recruitment website which has shaken up the jobs market.

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Stephen Quinn set up Jobbio with his brother John (the former owner of Champion Sports) in late 2013. The brothers had realised that there was a gap in the market for a website which could help job seekers find work - and allow employers to discover the right staff.

"I had a friend who was looking for work after graduating from college," said Quinn. "He didn't know how to go about it. I mentioned this to John.

"At the time, Champion Sports were getting 80,000 CVs a year sent into them - and still paying a recruitment firm. We felt that if we could build a platform where talented people can apply for jobs and connect in a better way with employers, it would be a good idea."

Although not yet two years old, about 700 companies have already signed up to Jobbio - including well-known employers such as Ryanair, Unilver, Dropbox, AirBnB and Bank of Ireland. Many smaller companies, such as restaurants, hotels, and shops, are also using Jobbio, because they have found the web site to be a more affordable way for them to recruit staff.

Jobbio gives employers a better opportunity to showcase themselves to talented individuals who are looking for work. It does so by giving employers more tools to work with than the bullet points they are often restricted to if advertising jobs through traditional media - or if simply posting a vacancy on their own website, according to Quinn.

"Some of the major problems which companies face when hiring staff is that it costs too much, takes too long, and the business itself looks average on the web," said Quinn.

"On every employer's website, there's a 'jobs' button that often goes to a black hole. Our aim is to replace that 'jobs' button so that talented people are connecting to companies.

"In that way, employers can build up pools of talented individuals who want to work for them - and who are relevant to their business.

"For virtually no cost, employers can set themselves up on the Jobbio website, display themselves - and post their jobs for free."

Another challenge which Jobbio helps employers address is that of finding talented individuals who are already in employment - but who might be a great fit for the company and also be interested in moving there.

"People who have jobs already are very hard to get in front of," said Quinn. "The messages to attract them may not be delivered in the right way."

Although it is free for employers to advertise jobs on the website, companies are charged when they wish to contact a potential job candidate on Jobbio.

Employers basically buy a bundle of credits, which are then used up every time they connect with a job seeker.

"If an employer wants to accept a job candidate into its talent pool, it uses up its credits," said Quinn. "Once an individual is in a company's talent pool, it can store their profile, message them, put notes or tags on their CV, and so on."

The Jobbio website also allows companies to track job seekers from the moment they apply for a job, to the moment they're hired. This saves employers time, as they are not sifting through out-of-date CVs, or contacting individuals who have already taken up a job elsewhere.

It can also help a company get a better feel for a job hunter's personality - as the employer has more to work with than a flat CV. Furthermore, as it is essentially an online tool, companies can search for job candidates from home, on their mobile, in the office and so on.

At only 33 years old, Stephen Quinn is a young chief executive - and his youth has helped him tap into the minds of today's job seekers.

"We're trying to re-imagine how people apply for jobs," said Quinn. "The future CV can't be a piece of paper. The people coming out of college today were ten years of age when Facebook was launched. They'll have CVs on their smartphones. They'll have multi-media CVs and careers that aren't as linear as they used to be."

Job candidates can register for free on Jobbio. Once on the website, they can upload CV profiles and customise them with social media and video. They can edit their profiles at any stage - and apply for jobs posted on the site. More than 120,000 potential job seekers have registered with the firm so far.

"These include highly technical and well educated people," said Quinn. "We've a huge amount of financial talent. Employers who have signed up are getting job applications that they would never have got otherwise."

The company, which is headquartered in Dublin, opened offices in London and New York earlier this year. Last February, Jobbio secured €1m in funding to expand its operations in London and New York.

"There's no reason why this can't travel," said Quinn. "The funding has given us the confidence to go out and try accelerate the business.

"We want to create a globally recognisable brand for Ireland. We're trying to create a market place in foreign cities using existing customers."

Before setting up Jobbio, Quinn worked in digital advertising and stockbroking. "Not having a recruitment background has helped us quite a bit, because we are approaching recruitment in a completely different way," said Quinn. "We feel you have to look at recruitment from the perspective of the employer and the job seeker."

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