What if searching for a new job wasn't completely terrible? Seriously, if you're still combing the classifieds, you're way behind the times: everyone who's ever used Tinder knows that swiping is the new black.
The dev team at Switch is playing the employment-seeking game with a whole new deck. Instead of penning endless heartfelt cover letters only to get lost in a hopeless HR pile, job-seekers using Switch can get matched with hiring managers just by swiping right on opportunities that look like a good match for their experience and skills.
A limited profile for both potentials and recruiters means that finding your next project is efficient, streamlined, and - dare we say it - quite possibly fun. It allows even the currently employed to keep an open mind when it comes to looking at what else is on the market, since it's so simple to use Switch during small snatches of free time.
Switch has done great for itself since launching this past June. We scored an interview with CEO Yarden Tadmor to find out what's behind the acclaimed "Tinder for jobs."
Last week's interview: Francisco Franco of snazzy photo organization app Focus talks colorful tags and user testing
Appszoom: “The Tinder for X” is almost a cliché these days. What makes Switch stand out from the pack?
Yarden Tadmor: As you know from your piece for Medium, the “Tinder for X” tagline is indeed growing in frequency, but for good reason. Tinder wasn’t the first to implement the card-swiping mobile interface, but they were perhaps the most effective, so of course everyone after them gets the comparison.
Switch uses the “Tinder for jobs” association simply to indicate how our app interface works; what sets us apart is the strength of our users, employers, and recommendation algorithm. There are a few different apps out there that aid candidates in their job search and resemble the swiping, small data technology, but none can combine intelligent job-matching algorithm, seamless interfacing, swipe-to-apply technology and immediate candidate-employer interaction the way Switch does.
And in many ways, Switch is more vital than the other Tinder clones -- or Tinder itself -- since it is about finding a job you love, easily, which increases satisfaction and provides a paycheck with which to download and utilize all those other apps.
AZ: How did you decide what features were going to be the most added value for users? Did you do any user testing along the way?
YT: Of course, we went through multiple rounds of user testing and months of informal conversations with job seekers, employers and recruiters before launching the app. We continue to test with each new update, and our latest version is no different.
When we first started, we knew the current job search was broken, but it took a lot of testing and thinking to determine how to fix it. The major problem with the current job search is one of time and energy. Candidates waste a lot of both scanning endless job boards and constructing detailed applications for an application, only to get a rejection -- or worse, nothing -- in return.
This raises a second issue: Because of what’s involved, only the unemployed or otherwise desperate will put themselves through this wringer, meaning that currently employed, in-demand workers that are most attractive to employers were not looking for better opportunities. Switch allows all job seekers to simply express interest in a job with a single swipe of their smartphone. No cover letters, no interminable job boards, no waiting weeks for a reply. Then, when a “match” is made between the candidate and the employer, that is when the investment of time and energy starts.
Our features are a natural extension of providing the best, most entertaining and most valuable product to users looking for a mobile job search experience. That means simple, swipeable job cards, one at a time, 21 for each candidate each day, all tailored specifically to that candidate’s location, skills and prior experience. Candidates remain anonymous until they match, meaning passive job seekers can search without fear of being outed. And by having real employers on the other side of those job cards, we solve another common job search complaint of users, who worry that there is only an automated reply email behind their online job application.
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AZ: How did you decide on a monetization model for Switch?
YT: Switch is currently free for both users and employers. That means no membership fees for users or referral fees for employers and recruiters.
AZ: Switch received significant positive press and attention upon launch. What was your PR strategy then, and how has that changed in the following months?
YT: Our PR strategy hasn't changed. As an app with a certain amount of novelty attraction, you're always going to have a significant bump upon launch. I think it's a measure of our sustained success that some of our biggest press wins - Good Morning America, CIO, Entrepreneur - have come in recent months.
AZ: For an app like Switch, it’s obviously key to be active in many locations at once. How do you tackle such a dispersed potential market?
YT: Certainly building this kind of marketplace is not easy, and we are still working to strengthen our large market. Both users and employers can be skeptical of the value of a job-matching app.
We started in New York, where Switch is headquartered, uncertain as to how we would eventually expand. Eventually, through the right kind of coverage, job seekers and employers around the country got wind of our app. Our user base has grown consistently, and we think that’s down to the fact that we can back up our coverage with a quality app. When candidates are matching with an employer every 10 likes or so, and employers connecting with intriguing candidates even more often, it’s not hard to see how Switch has continued to expand its reach.
Now, we rely on a combination of targeted business development as well as organic, word-of-mouth growth in the different markets in which Switch has grabbed a foothold.
AZ: What’s next for Switch?
YT: In the next few weeks, we will launch our Android app, with our Apple Watch version not too far behind. Currently, we are putting the final touches on a new version of our iOS app. We will have new features to again improve the user experience, from bottom navigation to an “Activity” tab where candidates can keep a record of likes, passes and employer responses.
We also added a feature in which candidates can tap on a job card and swipe through all the web assets (hiring manager profile, social media, company website) of the job's employer.
AZ: What other apps are you really into lately?
YT: Everyone at the office is a big fan of Slack’s mobile interface. I’ve also been enjoying Via, a luxury, low-cost, ride-sharing Uber alternative. Soundcloud has become my go-to for music -- it’s a great-looking app. And with the stresses of early startup life, Talkspace has proven very useful.