This is the weekly Careers newsletter.
Déjà Leonard is a copywriter and freelance journalist based in Calgary.
It was 2017 when Alexander Florio realized he was no longer enjoying his career in marketing, and started to look for a new job.
“I began getting really frustrated with how difficult it really was to look for jobs and I remember thinking to myself that there needed to be an easier way to do this,” Mr. Florio said.
During the same time, Mr. Florio was also on the dating app Tinder and he began to think: Could finding and applying to jobs be this simple?
He and his sister, Stephanie Florio, teamed up to launch Swob Inc. in 2017. It is a recruitment app that uses dating-app functionality to match job seekers with employers – specifically in high-turnover industries such as hospitality.
“There are so many job boards out there, what would make us unique?” Ms. Florio asked. “For us, it was really targeting the younger job seekers and even newcomers [to Canada].”
Their father worked in the restaurant industry and they knew there was an opportunity there, with some data showing an average churn rate of around 75 per cent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and that was before the pandemic.
If you’ve ever been on a dating app, Swob works like you might expect. You can view jobs, and if you want to apply you can swipe right and your résumé and other applicable information will be sent to the employer. Or, you can swipe left if you aren’t interested.
The co-founders said there is a lot we can learn about job searching from online dating:
- Have something to say: “When you’re on a date, the worst thing is when somebody’s not really responsive, if they’re giving you those one-word answers,” Ms. Florio said. She said that the same goes for job interviews, and you should be giving more than “yes” or “no” answers, and come prepared with questions about the company or specific role for which you’re applying.
- Be authentic: Think of grossly exaggerating on your résumé like using multiple filters on a photo – don’t do it. “Someone’s going to see right through that. It’s a huge red flag,” Ms. Florio said.
- Look out for bare descriptions. Mr. Florio said if companies and daters are serious about finding a match, “They’re going to try and put as much information out there and really try to attract the right people as much as they can.” That means if companies don’t have information on culture and benefits, or daters don’t have information on what they like and what they’re looking for, it could be a red flag.
More recently, Swob, which has more than 30,000 users, has partnered with organizations including RBC Future Launch, Restaurants Canada, The Get Real Movement, Student Leadership Association and the Canadian Gap Year Association to help more people find employment faster.
“Swiping left and right is really something that we all do and all understand. On the employer side, it’s really just keeping it simple, and using something that allows you to reach your audience in an easy, fast way,” Ms. Florio said.
What I’m reading around the web
- During the pandemic, Canadians got used to virtual health care for basic check-ins and requests. Not only was it convenient, but for some it became essential for accessibility. Now, Ontario and Manitoba have scaled back funding for services that are not paired with in-person doctor visits and, as CBC reports, it’s affecting residents of those provinces.
- Are retention bonuses worth it? According to this article in Harvard Business Review, they are most effective when used as a short-term tool to retain senior-level workers and those in roles that are hard to replace. The article points to four steps to make sure your company is using this type of bonus effectively.
- Google recently released its competitor to artificial intelligence chatbot ChatGPT – Bard. According to a blog post by chief executive officer Sundar Pichai, Bard is being tested and will be open to the public in a few weeks.
- Over the next five years, the federal government will be investing more than $46-million into finding out what’s under Canada’s oceans and protecting it, reports The Canadian Press. This funding comes from the government’s $3.5-billion Ocean Protection Plan, and will help with Ottawa’s aim to boost Canada’s reputation as an ocean leader.
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