Jobandtalent is a job-matching platform based in London and Madrid. Given the company’s recently announced plans to expand into the U.S., we thought now would be a good time to talk to cofounder and CEO Juan Urdiales about what his company does and why he believes job matching, rather than job searching, will soon be the new normal.
When we talk about the passive vs. active candidate divide, we often approach it from the employer’s perspective. Passive candidates account for 75 percent of the workforce, we’re always looking for new ways to tap into this relatively gigantic talent pool.
Jobandtalent, on the other hand, tends to approach the active/passive gap from the candidate’s perspective, asking how we can help passive candidates find new opportunities when they aren’t even looking for them.
Jobandtalent’s perspective probably stems from the fact that the company was founded in 2009 when Urdiales and cofounder Felipe Navio were watching their friends and colleagues land plum gigs — and wondering why they didn’t find those jobs first.
“We asked ourselves, ‘Why didn’t we get those jobs?’” Urdiales explains. “It’s because we didn’t put any effort in. We weren’t looking.”
Happy with their current jobs, Urdiales and Navio didn’t feel compelled to expend their energy looking for new opportunities — but that doesn’t mean they weren’t interested in what was out there.
This is a conundrum that a lot of passive candidates face. One could argue that passive candidates who are open to new opportunities should just become active candidates and start trawling the job boards. The problem is, most job boards don’t really cater to passive candidates. They are instead designed for what Urdiales calls “hyperactive candidates” — that is, those job seekers who want to see and browse and search through hundreds or thousands of available jobs.
Passive candidates don’t want to do that. That’s what makes them “passive” in the first place: they’re happy when opportunities come to them, but they don’t feel especially pressured to go out and meet those opportunities where they are.
“All the current platforms do not satisfy passive candidates, and it is quite common to see a lot of those candidates missing great opportunities in the market,” Urdiales says. “We believe that this has to change. In our vision of the future, the market is going to be completely different. Instead of professionals having to spend a lot of time job searching, the jobs will be automatically matched to users.”
Urdiales and Navio designed Jobandtalent as a way to turn their vision of the future into a reality: a platform that would satisfy passive candidates by bringing new jobs straight to their doors.
Building a Job Advertising Platform Based on Candidate Engagement
Urdiales says that Jobandtalent’s “key metric is [candidate] engagement.” The goal is to motivate candidates to return to the platform on a regular basis to quickly check in on the job opportunities that are available to them.
Immediately, we run into a problem: passive candidates are, by definition, not actively seeking jobs. Why would they put aside time to revisit a job advertisement channel regularly?
“The way we keep people coming back is the content we show them,” Urdiales says. “We understand the user, and we send them accurate matches. That’s why they keep on returning. Even though they have a job, they want to see what is our there – and we are giving them opportunities that align with what they want.”
The process works as such: users arrive on Jobandtalent and set up profiles. The profiles require very little information — just a job title, company, salary, industry, and years of experience. Jobandtalent uses that data to generate the first matches and suggest jobs to users.
Over time, Jobandtalent refines its matches by paying attention to which jobs users look at, apply to, or discard. Through machine learning, the matches become more and more relevant — and this is why passive job seekers keep coming back. Paradoxically, Jobandtalent aims to take the “search” out of “job searching.” Candidates don’t look for jobs. They log on and the jobs are there waiting for them. By spending a couple of minutes on the platform once a month, passive candidates can survey the market and identify jobs they’re interested in.
Urdiales contrasts this approach with traditional job boards, which don’t worry much — if at all — about candidate engagement.
“With most job boards, active candidates arrive, they search for jobs, and once they have found a job — or realize they won’t find anything — they leave the platform. They don’t come back,” Urdiales says.
Job Matching: It’s Good for Employers, Too
While Jobandtalent largely puts the emphasis on passive candidates, its “job matching, not job searching” approach can also benefit the employers that advertise through the platform.
Urdiales says that Jobandtalent offers employers a higher quantity of higher quality candidates than traditional job boards.
Consider that job-matching platforms only put job ads in front of the candidates with whom they align. This helps to cut down on the number of unqualified applicants that recruiters have to sort through, and it ensures that most — if not all — of the candidates who apply are truly suited for the job.
Consider also that Jobandtalent aims to cultivate a base of engaged candidates, unlike traditional job boards, which rely on sporadic usage from active candidates. Because candidates are matched to their jobs, and because they are checking in regularly, job-matching platforms like Jobandtalent can generate more applicants with fewer users.
“Say a common job board needs one million users to generate X amount of applications per posting,” Urdiales says. “We have seen that we need five times fewer users to generate the same amount of applications.”
Traditional Job Boards Won’t Disappear, but Job-Matching Platforms Will Proliferate
At least, that’s what Urdiales believes.
“There will always be job boards for hyperactive candidates,” he says. “It’s a small percentage of the market, but they are always going to be demanding a search tool. To satisfy those kinds of users, the clear winners will always be aggregators.”
But, Urdiales believes, the majority of candidates are passive, and as a result, the majority of the job advertising market will move away from job boards and toward job-matching platforms.
“[Job-matching platforms] achieve a higher quality of candidate and a higher quantity of applicants,” he says. “There are more passive people than active, so there will be much more people using these kinds of platforms in the long term.”