Swiping right for a date is common thanks to Tinder but for a job? Well, why not because just like dating, recruiting also involves a lot of personal chemistry. So believe Vincent Maillard and Lynn Tan, co-founders of mobile matchmaking platform Blonk, an application, created in Silicon Valley in 2014 that directly connects recruiting managers and candidates preselected by a matching algorithm.
Headquartered in Paris, Blonk helps companies reach top talents. With Blonk, candidates swipe jobs anywhere anytime. After a mutual like, they get a match and can chat directly with hiring managers in a straightforward way.
“We use AI to connect talents and hiring managers directly in a few swipes-just like Tinder. For our design, we were also inspired by this app because we believe that in recruiting a lot of personal chemistry is involved- it's actually very similar to dating," reveals Vincent.
And that is what Blonk wants to be a casual, efficient way of helping the right talents and hiring leaders find each other and get matched.
How does Blonk help talents and leaders find each other?
Recruiters or hiring managers can post a job on the platform, talking about themselves, the job and their company There is a first matching algorithm which matches jobs requirements with people hard skills and motivations. So like Tinder, candidates and employers swipe left/right based on the resume and once matched, or in other words, there is a mutual like, they can start a conversation.
Says Vincent, “It cuts down the long processes of preliminary interviews with multiple intermediaries. Here you go quickly to the chat and from the beginning, the process is optimized such that you meet only the right people, people who are motivated and you meet to reach a decision. You don’t meet only to get information, you really meet for action.”
This is also what sets Blonk apart. It helps HR drive the recruitment process in a quite quick and tight way, something even the hiring managers are not used to! They are often used to long processes so Blonk helps them accept the fact that recruitment can be much, much faster. The central idea being able to confront the true decisions makers as quickly as possible.
While the duo did not disclose the exact number of users or downloads, they revealed that the startup is on its way to raise a VC round given that HR tech is quite an attractive space at the moment. The startup has multiple models of monetization, from job postings and monthly subscritption to pay per hire.
Matchmaking in Singapore and the Asian market
When it comes to the recruitment space in Asia, Lynn believes that there is a significant talent crunch in Asia- marketing skills, business development skills, leadership skills, are still on the way to be built and right talent is rare. Also, MNCs in the region are still too much attuned to hiring talents who look like them and struggle in hiring locals. They complain there is not enough talent but it is also because they always look at the same kind of talents. She believes Technology and can help to overcome these issues thanks to confronting hiring managers to a wider pool of talents selected by unbiased matching algorithms
“The problem of selecting through resumes leads to a lot of high potential candidates being eliminated based on wrong interpretations of limited information like (education level, past companies..). This information reveals partially past achievements but used alone, it cannot predict future performance. Hence there is a need for technologies and tools that present to managers a selection of motivated candidates with a wider spectrum of origins and with the right potential fit. This approach helps significantly hiring managers overcome their diversity and talent acquisition issues. And that’s what we promote though Blonk’s technology and processes,” adds Vincent.
When you are a headhunter, you don’t have an objective algorithm in mind rather a very subjective one. Any headhunter needs to close the business quickly and is always in a hurry to push "presentable" and "seductive" candidates. Similarly, the HR has a subjective algorithm too, pressured by hiring managers and by multiple internal issues. As a consequence, the recruitment system is broken and all the tools we see are just meant to optimize a system that does not work. They are not meant to solve the problem.
And this is where Blonk wants to make a dent. Or rather has been able to, claim the co-founders. Vincent revealed that the HR tech startup has been able to scale up considerably in Asia after it entered Singapore in 2017, as here the gap between the dream of the organization and the reality of the market is huge. Moreover, the Asian market today is really strategic, it is now much more than the mere production center it used to be for Europe and US.
There is still a gap in leadership and middle management. And Blonk believes that solving the problem right at the stage of talent acquisition is a great way to solve potential talent management issues.
Singapore makes for a great location to start in Asia as there is both growth and a war for talent in the island nation. Moreover, a lot of investment here has been done in HR-you have new HR themes, you have lots of HR tech solutions and lots of difficulties. It is a great market with a number of MNCs and startups vying for the right kind of talent. Blonk’s offerings cater to usually mid-career to senior positions.
Don’t fight attrition, fight the way you recruit
Ultimately, the co-founders believe that the sensible way to fight the talent retention problem is not only by focusing on the symptom but by selecting better. Costly mis-hires often arise because of a mismatch between candidate’s capabilities, the reality of the job and the unspoken motivations of both parties. Unfortunately, this mismatch is often discovered only once he has joined and not before.
But how can you discover this before? Maybe through a face to face interview but not only. You need to go deeper. The trouble is that very few go deeper. This is what Blonk effectively does-as it provides a unique machine learning tool to match people based on their motivations and swiping behaviors. Candidates and the hiring managers benefit from this matching support in order to take the right decision.
While the recruitment and jobs industry is a competitive sector in Asia, Blonk is positive about its prospects in the region. And there’s a reason behind it- because ultimately every company wants the talent which will still be performing after one year it's not the guy who will fit with the company for one weekend.
Or as Vincent aptly concludes, “Don’t fight attrition, fight the way you recruit.”