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Video: Why do we say no to 100 million applications?

Frida har jobbat som frilansdesigner under de senaste 3 åren genom hennes egna bolag. Man skulle nästan kunna säga att hon har en magisk kraft – allt som hon jobbar med blir grafiskt jättefint. Så tänk dig om någon skulle fråga henne “Vi har en superinnovativ plattform, kan du göra den extraordinärt fin och användarvänlig?”. Vi vet redan vad hon svarade..

Written by Frida Bredesen

This week, Björn, JobAgent’s CEO, was at Norrsken where he presented how JobAgent will solve one of the biggest challenges of our time.

JobAgent is here to solve a problem: The Global Skills Gap. This is a global challenge that is clear both in Sweden, but nevertheless across all the continents of the earth. We know that one of the most important aspects for a society to feel good is that people have a job to go to. As unemployment rises, so does mental illness – and the country’s economy falls.

The UN has made this one of its main goals, Sustainable Development Goals, and they describe it as: Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all. So we have the UN saying that together we need to jointly create opportunities for inclusion, employment, good and reasonable jobs for all. So why not do it then?

Let's look at The Global Skills Gap from an employer perspective.

In a report from Grant thornton , 40% of employers globally say that they have had problems with their growth because they have not been able to find qualified staff to hire. In Asia, almost 50% of employers have problems growing. And these numbers are rising year after year.

For over 10 years, Manpower has asked a number of companies how difficult it is to find staff. Here we see that there is undeniably a gigantic problem in terms of matching to jobs. When Manpower asked employers in 2009 about how difficult it was to find staff to hire, 30% answered that this was a problem. When the question was asked again in 2019, the number has almost doubled, and it continues to increase.

So we have a massive demand for labor around the world. About half of all companies say that this is one of their biggest challenges and the very core of what prevents them from growing. But what about all jobseekers then? Is the reason for the problem that there is actually no qualified workforce to employ? No!

There is a large range of people who want to work, especially now during the pandemic.

No! There is a wide range of people who want to work, especially now during the pandemic. In the EU, we have 16 million people who are unemployed and 140 million people who want to change jobs. In Sweden alone last year, 2 million people wanted to change jobs. But is it the case that these people who want to work are not qualified for the job? Is that the problem? No, absolutely not.

The age of establishment, i.e. when at least 75% of a specific cohort work, was about 20 in 1990. Now it is about 30 years. If you ask people who today have a job, but who would have been formally underqualified if they had to apply for the job again, the majority say that they have learned their skills at work. So people are more educated than ever, it takes longer to enter the job market and the people who may lack the formal qualifications for a job can learn it at work.

So we have a massive supply and a huge demand - but why does recruitment not work as it should?

We have the UN, which says that this is one of the world’s biggest problems, we have companies that shout for people, we have as many people as possible who are both unemployed and who want to change jobs. Then we also have the individual’s driving force that is about achieving their dreams and working with what they like, as well as the companies’ driving forces that are about finding as good staff as possible. Why does it not work? Why is recruitment not working as it should? Yes, because of 100 million.

100 million is our estimate of how many rejected applications there are in Sweden. We have a working population of approx. 5.4 million, but still there are around 100 million no-thanks. The way the industry works today, you always start with an ad. An employer places an ad and jobseekers can apply. I need to write my CV, my personal letter and possibly I have to answer tests as well. In addition, the processes have become so streamlined for recruiters that it should not be an administrative problem if you receive 1,000 applications for a position. There are systems that can sift through applications and do much of the work for you.

But for job seekers – there we have a problem. I need to redo my processes over and over again and I can not reuse my data. If I apply for a position as a project manager at a company, then my application ends up in the specific company’s database. No other employer is allowed to look in the database, which means I have to repeat the same process over and over and over again. On job advertisements it should say “Apply and be denied – you will probably not get the job”. And that’s exactly what happened.

On job advertisements it should say "Apply and be denied - you will probably not get the job".

The number of applications per year decreases by about 20%. People are tired of looking for work and being denied again, again and again.

The number of job applications before the pandemic showed that there are fewer job applications for each passing year. They have dropped by about 20% every year since 2016. When we come out of this pandemic, exactly the same thing will happen again. People have no desire to apply because it is no idea. If you look at the probability that someone will click on a Facebook ad that is about just a job, then we can see that people are about twice as willing to click on an ad that is about starting a gym instead of clicking on an ad that is about to apply for a job.

But this is not news for the recruitment industry, they know that this is an extremely big problem. Even the investment companies that invest money in HR-tech know that this is a gigantic problem. The amount of venture capital in HR-tech is increasing year by year, even during the first quarter of the pandemic, money flowed in to find better solutions than those that exist. The industry as a whole has an annual turnover of over $ 500 billion.

But is the solution really to build more innovative platforms for recruiters? Is the solution to create better ads that make people search anyway? No, we do not think so. We think we need to take inspiration from another industry that was just very analogous, namely the music industry.

We want recruiters to find people to hire as easily as you find music on Spotify.

The music industry was very analog not so long ago. Do you remember when you had to go to a record store to buy Absolut Music for 179SEK. I remember when I did it. No one questioned it, you went to the record store, bought your CD and then you were done. But around 2008, there was a streaming service – Spotify . All of a sudden, artists could share their music and we as listeners got instant access to it. We did not have to go to a record store anymore, we had almost all the music available.

We who founded JobAgent, me and Mats Wernheim, started thinking about this several years ago. We thought we could create a service where, instead of sharing your music, you can share your career data – which means recruiters could find you and me as easily as you and I can find songs on Spotify. This is how our vision behind JobAgent started.

And now, a few years later, we’ve created a platform that automatically helps you describe how you are, what skills you have and where you want to be in your career – that is, what offers suit you. All your data is packaged in a super smart CV which we call your TalentAd. You can use it exactly how you want, for example, if you want to actively look for a job or market yourself.

As a job seeker, you are involved in every single recruitment process that ever takes place in the entire platform without ever having to apply for a single job.

But the nice thing is that your data will also be searchable for recruiters. The effect is thus that as soon as recruiters go in and apply in our platform, then you as a job seeker will be part of every single recruitment process that ever takes place in the entire platform without ever having to apply for a single job.

And to get back to the global skills gap – yes, but we have a solution to the problem, something that makes our platform extra smart!

With JobAgent you can find jobs based on your personality and skills, not just what you have worked with before.

We use different datasets in our platform that show something that is actually quite obvious, namely: do you know a job, yes, then you can many many more. But what is special about our platform is that we know the distance between jobs. This means that if, for example, you have worked as a project manager, then you can already work as a customer service manager. If we combine what you can, what you want and how you are – then solve the whole matching problem that is the basis of The global skills gap!

The matching between the two pages thus means that how you are, what you can and what you want gives employers a list of job seekers where we have removed all that unnecessary information such as what your name is, where you live and where you come from . Both your image and your name are blurred when recruiters look at your resume (or TalentAd, as we usually say). However, your data is searchable. When employers find you, they need to make an application to you, and you decide for yourself if you want to share all your personal information and go on to the interview.

So with JobAgent, we have a single goal – to solve the Global Skills Gap. Today, there are over 100 million rejected applications in Sweden. But what if we really were to take advantage of all the skills that are out there, all the potential and all the knowledge that people have. The UN has declared that this is one of their most important goals, so it should be ours as well.

Our contribution to solving this global problem - It is our AI-driven marketing platform where we really make potential available and let job seekers and employers find each other based on data that matters. Thanks for your attention!

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