When a friend introduced me to an app called Jobr, I thought she was messing with me. She dubbed it ‘an unholy lovechild between LinkedIn and Tinder, spawned in the most debased, Google-glassiest annals of Silicon Valley.’ It turned out to be a fairly accurate description.
Copying the “swipe-left, swipe-right” model of Tinder or Grindr (the OG of all hit-it-and-quit-it apps), Jobr allows the increasingly desperate job hunter to search for jobs in their area with barely the lift of a finger. Recruiters can basically do the same thing on their end, and a match by both parties allows the recruiter to message the applicant within the system. Launched in May, the app already has a thousand recruiters signed up and 3 million “swipes.” The young company also has an impressive amount of seed money and an equally impressive list of investors. But that’s Silicon Valley: it’s an optimistic place where money might as well grow on trees (Google’s working on it). What I want to know is, does this model actually work? I’m skeptical.
So I had to see for myself.
What really impressed me right away was that I had to do so little. I signed into my LinkedIn profile and…that was pretty much it. All I needed was a finger and low expectations. Done. Let’s get to the swiping.
Like Tinder, it’s a little addicting. I got into a rhythm of swiping, left when I saw the word “director,” right when I saw “representative.” I had to pause though — shouldn’t I be putting a little more thought into it? I mean, I’m supposedly hunting for jobs, not browsing through the local talent.
I noticed a lot of jobs that I’m not qualified for. Actually, I wasn’t qualified for most of them. I’m a 24 year old with a degree in Political Economy and experience as a consultant. What about my LinkedIn profile indicates that I could be a Senior Director of Sales with a required 10+ years of experience?
There were a few promising positions, including an account executive spot at Lyft and another at Dropbox. Geotargeting might not be included in the app yet, since Dropbox job was in Austin — 1500 miles away from my current location.
After a few days and roughly 100 swipes, no one had messaged me. It’s like a night out in the Castro: no one’s there to see the straight girl. I’m left with a similar feeling after using Tinder soberly: still skeptical and slightly defeated. Jobr does have one advantage though. Unlike my experience with Tinder, no one has propositioned that I sit on his face. So…bright side?
My biggest question for the founders of Jobr is why. Just…why? Is this really necessary? These are smart guys (and yes, their five full time employees are all male), and I know that they believe that Jobr will tap a previously untapped market. And there are others that wholeheartedly agree. Jobr already has a copycat app called Poacht (I am so, so sad that the name “Poacht” wasn’t used by an eggs benedict delivery service. Sunday mornings would be forever changed. But I digress). They reported smaller user and recruiter bases, but their approach claims to value quality over quantity.
I understand the allure of an app that can make the terrifying job hunting process seem easier. But I think that people should put a little more thought into where they are going to spend more than a third of their day. I’ll mull it over while I browse through my Tinder matches.