Wither recruiters: Fixing the UK’s most hated industry with data

Posted on Apr 14th, 2014 | News and opinion

Editor’s note: Everyone hates recruiters. Luckily, lots of companies have realised this and are trying to fix the problems with this industry. As we like to do from time to time, we’ve given some editorial space to one of these companies to tell us how they’re trying to change recruitment for the better. Giving us their story today, Elevate Direct.

As a self-employed professional, have you ever been approached by a recruitment agent with a completely irrelevant role? Most likely you have, and on more than one occasion I would guess.

Traditionally when freelancers are looking for work there are limited options available. You either contact a recruitment agency or apply to jobs online in the hope that your CV hasn’t entered a black hole from which you rarely even get an acknowledgement, let alone receive any meaningful feedback.

The Problem

As a Resource Manager for a consultancy in the City, I knew there had to be a better way for contractors and freelancers to find relevant jobs. That’s when we came up with the idea of Elevate Direct – a platform that would automatically match contractors to jobs with the end employer, no middle man.

There isn’t really a dedicated employment site for independent professionals anymore – at least not something that can efficiently deal with the whole end to end hiring process at scale.

Solving the Problem

From your perspective the few job boards that once specialised in contract and freelance roles have become more generalist, with an increasing focus on permanent positions. There are social sites like LinkedIn and a few niche vertical networks that allow freelancers to search for jobs, but these are all tiny pieces of the same big puzzle.

What we’re attempting to do is automatically parse a freelancer’s career information from their CV and generate a profile for them. Once their profile is complete, some clever matching algorithms in the background surface jobs that match the skills and experience detailed on their profile. The jobs are from direct employers only – no agencies or middlemen. If an employer likes an application, all communications and offers of employment happen within our system. If the candidate accepts an offer, then our platform acts as the agent between the candidate and employer, taking care of the payroll and providing a time-sheeting facility.

This should remove irrelevant jobs altogether, and streamline the hiring process significantly.

Career Insights

We’ve recently begun using some very intelligent data science to go beyond simple skills and experience matching to bring in other factors such as cultural fit. We’ll be able to tell freelancers what chance they will have of getting a specific job at a specific company, reducing the number of applications needed to find a good fit.

The data science we are working on means we’ll be able to provide them all kinds of useful career insights. Which skills are in the most demand, which roles are paying the most, and more importantly, what do they need to do to increase their chances of achieving a specific position at a specific day rate!

We’re hoping to use this data and our system to help the UK’s fast-growing freelancer and contractor population. Any questions? Ask away! Photo by Emyr Jones

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Written by Dan Collier

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