Incorporating video into the job recruitment and search process is hardly the breakthrough advance or novel idea that a lot of providers in the space are making it out to be. A new provider entering the space with a launch today has pretty much acknowledged that, but says what is novel is its holistic, multi-dimensional approach in tapping the power and appeal of video to match employers with job candidates.
Jobularity.com is positioning itself as the eHarmony of the world of job search and recruitment. The company’s media outreach in advance of the launch proclaimed, “At the core of Jobularity is the Zumay, an alternative to the conventional résumé that showcases a candidate’s unique personality through video monologues, endorsements, and descriptions of professional goals.” Other promotional materials focus on the outdated nature of traditional résumés. That’s nice, but hardly earth-shattering. So is Jobularity really all that big of a deal?
I posed that question, with a tad more tact and graciousness, in an interview with Jobularity’s founder and CEO, Jeff Freeland. I noted that when you Google the phrase “video résumé,” you get 2.5 million hits. I also noted that just a week before Jobularity’s launch, Computerworld had come out with a big feature article headlined, “IT Hiring: Your Text Resume Is Soooo Last Century.” So I told Freeland that it seemed to me he was jumping on a bandwagon, rather than driving it, and I asked him what I was missing. He didn’t flinch:
I think we’re driving a new vehicle, because we don’t just look backwards, we’re looking forwards, with more of a focus on the individual’s passions and goals. The video résumé is just one part of it. You still have the other side of the equation, which is the employer side. But if you look at it from a holistic perspective on the employee side only, the individual side of Jobularity.com, you have the video introduction that you can instantly share on social media—Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. In addition to that there are videos of up to three individuals [to provide endorsements]. So there’s a lot more to the equation than just a video résumé. There’s another mechanism in there that the video résumés aren’t really touching, which is helping companies to vet people. Are they a cultural fit? Can they do the job we need them to do?
I noted that on the employer side of the equation, sites like HireVue already provide a platform for online job interviews, so I asked him what Jobularity is doing differently. He said what HireVue does is just one piece of the puzzle:
On the employer side, there are certainly competitors out there that do a piece of what we do. HireVue is one of them—I know HireVue pretty well. We think to really do all these things well, you’ve got to do it together. Let’s say you’re an engineer looking at different companies. Engineers today have tremendous opportunities—they can pretty much go anywhere, especially if they’re in the top 20 percent. How great would it be to get a better feel for the company by actually seeing the people you’d be working with? Video No. 1, you’ve got the CEO, or the head of the team, providing the vision and passion of the organization. No. 2 is a video-based job description—a day in the life of what you’re going to be doing. No. 3 is a video of up to two minutes from the team that you’d be working on. It really gives you a flavor of what the company’s all about. That’s very different. HireVue doesn’t do any of that.
Freeland said he had been working on the concept for Jobularity off and on for a couple of years, and really started getting serious about it around a year ago. I wondered if the market might have passed him by as he was doing all that mulling and pondering, so I asked him if the space had matured more quickly than he had anticipated. He said he thinks it’s the other way around:
I think the whole space has matured at a slower rate than I had anticipated. The video technology we need to do these kinds of things has been around for a long time. You see people doing bits and pieces of it—there are companies that specialize in parsing résumés more efficiently; there are people that do video-based résumés—that’s another element; there are dozens of companies that do interviewing and questionnaires. I think what the market has been waiting for—at least, this is what I’m assuming and hoping for with Jobularity—is something that pulls all of this together by aggregating all of the elements into one spot that you wouldn’t otherwise have had, enabling you to be more efficient in your decision-making process.
I noted that a recent study reported in Scientific American had found that a video job interview can weaken a candidate’s chances of getting the job. I asked Freeland what he made of that. His response:
If we’re comparing video-based responses on either side of the equation, the employer side or the candidate side, that may just be the nature of the beast. So let’s put a stake in the ground and say that in-person is the best. We’re certainly not trying to replace in-person. What we’re trying to do is make it so that by the time somebody walks in your door, you’re seeing somebody that you aren’t going to waste your time on. So if what they’re saying is video is not as good as in-person, I certainly can get my arms around that, and I certainly wouldn’t argue that point. But I think what we can use video for is to cull that list, so instead of interviewing 10 people, maybe you’re interviewing the top three people in person.
Finally, I asked Freeland if he could give me an overview of his revenue model. He said there is none:
Right now, we don’t have a revenue model. We think we can charge based on utilization. A very crude example we’ve kicked around, and I’m not even sure if this is one we might use, but just to give you an idea of what we’re thinking about: We allow the individual to have three videos that they can store. They’re allowed to share with the world one of those videos. Let’s say you’re the kind of person who can’t make a decision on three, and you want five, or 10. If you want 10 videos, I’m going to charge you a buck a month to cover the cost of storing those videos. That might be part of my revenue model. On the employer side, right now the review committee can be up to five people. So if we’re going to review candidates, I as the person who is developing this job campaign can include up to five people in the reviewing of candidates for this specific job. Let’s say the company wants a bunch of feedback, so they want a review committee of 10 people. There’s more information that flows through the system, there’s more storage that’s required, so we would charge for that. We’re thinking of charging for usage, but making the rates so low, we’ll get a lot more adoption than we otherwise would. So we don’t have a model right now, but we have some good ideas on how we can monetize this.