The story begins with the arrival of a press release in Maddyness’ mailbox featuring the startup Jobamax as the Tinder of recruiting. A promise that may seem familiar to anyone who already observed the ecosystem in 2014: the year of the launch of Kudoz, an application that presented itself as… the Tinder of recruitment. Maddyness, therefore, could not resist the temptation to bring its two co-founders together for an interview to understand the repeated temptation to adopt dating codes for job hunting, but also how the same idea will manifest itself differently in a few years. ?
The genesis of Tinder jobs
During their first professional experiences, Pierre Hervé and Olivier Xu (founders of Kudoz) discovered the difficulty of recruiting, but also the fact that the best talent was often already in place and difficult to attract. Then they discover two numbers that give water to their ingenuity: 68% of those in office would like to change, but only 8% are active in this search due to lack of time. They begin to envision an app that would simplify their job search the way Tinder simplified their search for love. Kudoz was born.
Almost a decade later, Alexandre Guenoun had an experience that led him to reach substantially the same conclusion. He was at home with two friends. Facing him on the couch: one of them is looking for a “date” on Tinder, the other a job on LinkedIn. Two quests that, in many ways, can be considered similar: it’s about matching each other’s personality and expectations to decide to go a long way together, whether for a short mission or for the rest of your life or career.
However, Alexandre Guenoun observes the faces of these two friends and discovers that one smiles and the other grimaces: “I thought to myself, why not put the Tinder concept into the job search and make them both smile? », he remembers. He is thus preparing to create what he will call Jobamax, and someone gives him this feedback after presenting his project: “I know of an app that did pretty much the same thing as you. “.
Alexandre then does some research and discovers the existence of Kudoz. Then he starts watching YouTube videos of Pierre Hervé presenting his app concept. He collects as much information as possible in this adventure so similar to his own to understand his career and project himself into the problems that Jobamax would also encounter.
A takeover by LeBonCoin for Kudoz
If the startup Jobamax has just launched and has a future ahead of it, the history of Kudoz is already behind it. After launching a first version of the bootstrap app, Pierre Hervé raised €1.2 million in 2015 from Schibsted Growth, which is LeBonCoin’s investment fund. This operation allows them to increase their teams to place themselves in an intensive marketing phase of their offers. If we have to compare, Jobamax is at this point in its history.
Kudoz is growing, but needs resources again in 2017. LeBonCoin takes the opportunity to make an acquisition proposal, which Pierre Hervé will accept at the end of the year. They will remain with the company for 18 months to ensure the proper integration of teams and technology to develop an offering called LeBonCoin Emploi Cadres.
The questions are the same
“The big challenge is always to have a balance between the number of job offers and the number of candidates”, recalls Pierre Hervé. A fragile balance on which the experience of the recruiter and the candidate rests. If there are not enough offers, candidates leave the platform, if there are not enough candidates, recruiters will not return either.
Kudoz, therefore, briefly implemented a business model where recruiters had to pay per ad before realizing they were dangerously slowing down the volume of ads hitting the platform. They have therefore opted to offer a free version for up to five ads before offering a subscription system to recruiters who want to use it more and also benefit from a good employer page but also from integration with their ATS (Applicant Tracking System, which companies use to track their HR processes). Kudoz will likely never have been able to identify the ideal answer that could allow him to continue to develop independently to this day.
Will the startup Jobamax be able to overcome this problem?
What is certain is that the same questions plague its founder. In fact, Alexandre Guenoun also explored many potential business models for Jobamax.
From a “swipe” model, therefore to the candidate in what may be similar to the cost per click well known to marketers, to a model with subscription or sale of packs, they have kept all the doors open. He also decided to A/B test his business model to some extent.
“We try to sell different business models to companies. It took us three weeks where I told myself we were going to sacrifice a few companies, it doesn’t matter… but we were going to try to sell a different business model to each company. We had about twenty models that were very different from each other and we tested them all. We got “no” every time… except when we proposed the success model. We said to ourselves: ok, we sold this, now we have to quickly prepare the platform to be able to provide the service. We also decided to test it again with other customers and we had almost 100% success with that model, so we decided to go all out on that strategy.”
Of course, it was also the riskiest model, with traction on the only model in which the recruiter did not have to pay a single euro before being successful in his first recruitment. But Jobamax finally got their way into the company, and they had every intention of turning it into a success story.
They therefore decided to address the elements that were hampering the candidate and recruiter experience. In fact, candidates often complain on recruitment platforms about the slow response from companies. Likewise, recruiters are sometimes overwhelmed by the number of applications they cannot manage properly.
Jobamax chose to place a dedicated person internally and positioned in the middle of the two parts. It will thus respond to all candidates’ questions in less than 24 hours, but will also resolve so that only the most relevant applications are sent to the company.
By adding people to its technology project, Jobamax brings significant added value to its two types of users. If successful, Jobamax receives a percentage of the new recruit’s annual salary. This model seems to work well for Jobamax, which is therefore trying to carve out a place for itself in this market.
The Post-Tinder Recruiting Life
For his part, Pierre Hervé started his exchange with Alexandre by explaining that today he was no longer in this recruitment sector. After the launch of LeBonCoin, Pierre returned to his first love in the audiovisual world. In fact, with his director wife, they decided to write and produce short films (and in particular through interactive films for the Snax application). They are now developing longer projects for streaming platforms or traditional channels. The Kudoz experience also allowed him to focus on his passion for the audiovisual world. ” Like whathe plays. Doing Tinder recruiting, it can really lead to anything and everything! »
For his part, Alexandre Guenoun still doesn’t know where this startup will take him… but he faces this adventure with the smile and curiosity of someone who is ready to face all challenges.