The recruitment industry is facing yet another wave of digital disruption with a new mobile platform allowing employers to fill positions by seeking referrals from those in their most trusted networks.
REFFIND is the first venture launched by Digital4ge, a so-called “start-up foundry” co-founded by Jamie Pride and Ben McGrath that does the heavy lifting for aspiring entrepreneurs who lack the time or expertise to transform their ideas from a concept to commercial reality.
Building on the principle that high quality hires stem from personal referrals, REFFIND is an app that sends an SMS message alerting valued contacts that a position needs to be filled. The app uses direct phone contacts rather than contacts on platforms like LinkedIn or Facebook to ensure the message only reaches close and trusted individuals.
Once the message is sent, the recipient can download the app and use the platform to alert a suitable candidate to the available position. The employer will only be notified if the candidate choses to express interest in the job.
REFFIND chief executive Brent Pearson said the app was currently available for free and was particularly targeted at small to medium sized businesses. He likened the platform to business “match making” but without the awkwardness of being referred to someone who was not interested in the position.
“One of the reasons why employer referrals are so powerful is because the person that is making the referral knows the contact at the company that’s hiring. And they also know the person they’re referring,” he told Dynamic Business. “They’re match making”.
REFFIND takes a small transaction fee of about $50 for the employer to see who has expressed interest in the position. The employer only pays once they know people are interested in the position.
In addition, the app allows the employer to reward the successful referrer with cash of between $250 and $2000. If the referrer is uncomfortable with this, they can use the app to donate the money to a charity of their choice. Rewards are only paid after a successful hire takes place.
“We recommend that the employer pay some sort of referral amount. It could be a low amount of a couple of hundred dollars. It might be a couple of thousand dollars… Either way, it’s still a hell of a lot less than recruitment firms charge,” said Mr Pearson. “This rewards the person who gives a successful referral as well as the business. The referee gets cash, while the business makes a cost saving.”
The typical cost of placing a job advertisement on a platform like seek.com is in the vicinity of between $300 to $600 while a recruiter can take up to $15,000 from a successful placement.
Mr Pearson said the REFFIND platform had been in development for several months. His goals were to modify the concept so it worked more effectively for larger organisations and introduce into to the US market early next year and then the larger Asian market. He said the appeal of the platform was its grounding in the “trust economy” that proved vital to the success of Uber and AirBnB.
REFFIND is owned by Digital4ge and is the brainchild of the “start-up foundry’s” co-founder Ben McGrath. The company aims to found several new ventures a year.