New job search app takes a leaf out of Tinder, mixes it with LinkedIn

App is free for job seekers and employers pay $.99 to unlock the chat window to message a match

Written by Nandagopal Rajan | Published:December 6, 2014 10:42 am
nspHire was developed by Kochi-based firm nspHire was developed by Kochi-based firm

The success of blind dating app Tinder seems to be spawning more swipe through app ideas. The latest to have caught our eye is “job and job seeker discovery application” nspHire. Incidentally, the app has been developed by a Kochi-based firm though it belongs to a Chicago-based startup.

In an email interaction, CEO Dan Mullaney said the idea of “Tinder-esque app for job search” came about when he was working on his earlier MBA Project Search startup. “We sourced thousands of MBA candidates for recruiters and employers. But the process was extremely time-consuming. Part of the process that slowed us down significantly was the simple task of resume scanning: opening a resume, looking at the high-level criteria, and making a decision to take a finer look or to move on. Then, if you decided a candidate was a good fit, you’d have to reach out to that person, trade e-mails back and forth, make phone calls, possibly only to realise that there was something you missed, and perhaps that candidate wasn’t the right fit at all. We were good at what we did, but the process could be time consuming and demoralizing,” he said.

Learning from this, the nspHire app uses the LinkedIn API to allow candidates to quickly create a profile page with work history, education and skills while employers get to post jobs. Both employers and job seekers use left swipes to pass or right swipes to indicate interest.  If both candidate and employer swipe each other right, they’re a mutual match and can chat in app.  “The app is totally free for job seekers.  Employers can post for free, search resumes listings for free, and swipe resumes listings for free.  We charge employers $.99 to unlock the chat window to message with a mutual match,” says Mullaney.

Mullaney had worked with the Kochi developer for one of his earlier ventures called HiredMD. “In fact, I didn’t consider anyone else.  And, my experience with them on nspHire was very much the same.  They helped evolve the idea, added valuable input from design to build-out,” he says adding that the project was completeed in about six months.   I trust that these guys will deliver on anything that they promise and, in deed, do more than expected.  Total development time was roughly 6 months.  And, as far as selection on first project, we decided to go with them based on trust developed during several conversations and the subsequent thorough project plan.  I was very impressed with their emphasis on project management and attention to detail as evidenced by their proposal and project scope.

The nspHire app, which is now available for iOS and Android, has privacy settings to allow for anonymous searching and job seekers can hide picture, name and other details. Employers have similar, but slightly different privacy features.  “We launched the iOS version in NOvember and we are starting to on-board users from our previous job platform, MBA Project Search,” says Mullaney, adding that his earlier venture was one of the largest MBA freelance communities with consultants from across the globe. This means the apps has a headstart of over 20,000 potential users, of which around 2,000 are recruiters in spread over the globe including India. The app has got over 5,000 downloads so far.

Mullaney quotes a recent study to highlight that most recruiters look at a resume for six seconds before making a decision about the candidate and this is why first impressions are important. “The key criteria they scan include name, current and past employers with from-to dates, and education. We realized through looking at the Tinder UI that it works very well for a quick resume scan. We reduced the resume to a couple of lines that include these key criteria. If the recruiter doesn’t think the candidate is a fit based on these items, they simply swipe left. If they like what they see but need more information, they expand the listing to get a complete experience vantage,” he explains. “After that, if the candidate still seems favorable, they simply swipe the listing right. If the candidate likes the job too, they can chat right in the app. No more trading e-mails and setting up phone calls.”

Mullaney says they are striving to provide a new business model in the job search space. “We think you should only pay if you’ve identified someone you’re interested in for the job and they’re also interested in you. There is absolutely no upfront cost, and that’s the way it should be. In our model, a recruiter/employer only pays to chat with mutual matches. The candidate indicated interested and you did too. No cost to post. No cost to match. You only pay to unlock the chat window, at a mere dollar to do so. If our technology does a good job, we get paid; if it doesn’t, we don’t,” he adds.

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