SEEK and Indeed.com, the largest online jobs portals in Australia and the world respectively, have simultaneously backed platforms designed to replace résumé-based candidate selection with bias-free, skills-based tests.
SEEK has led a $US3.5 million ($4.6 million) funding round in Vervoe, a start-up founded in Melbourne two years ago which claims to allow employers and recruiters to test the technical and personal skills of hundreds of candidates simultaneously.
Kogan.com founders David Shafer and Ruslan Kogan also joined the round, and their business along with SEEK are among the 4000 that Vervoe says have used its platform to hire. SEEK is also formalising a partnership to offer its advertisers Vervoe tests, which include simulations written by a Tesla engineer and an eBay product manager.
Meanwhile Indeed.com, the Austin-headquartered company which claims 200 million people search for jobs, post résumés,or research companies on its platform each month, launched a similar service called Indeed Assessments this month. It would be launched in Australia soon, Indeed.com president Chris Hyams told The Australian Financial Review.
The Indeed Assessments simulations are written by internal experts, rather than the external talent which has authored for Vervoe on a revenue-sharing basis, however both platforms aim to eliminate the curriculum vitae as the most popular initial filter of job applicants.
“Let’s get away from the pile of résumés, where inevitably you’re picking people out based on the school they went to, what grades they got, the demographic they fit in to,” said Vervoe co-founder Omer Molad.
“Our platform allows you to get every single candidate to do things they would do on the job – face an angry customer, do a mock cold call, design a logo, build a financial model, write code – or we have pyschologists who’ve written tests to identify characteristics like resilience or initiative.”
Both the Vervoe and Indeed Assessments platforms use a combination of written, audio and video tests, and are progressively introducing machine learning to automate and refine the filtering of candidates.
“Say two candidates display similar competence via a particular test, but one has done it in 20 minutes and been a little sloppy with typos or whatever, and another has taken three days, logging in and out and being very fastidious – so our system might identify the first candidate as a good fit for a start-up, the second for an audit firm,” explained Mr Molad.
Indeed Assessments will become not just a tool for employers but a free tool for job seekers to help determine which roles they might best suit, Mr Hyams said.
“Our mission is to help people all over the world get jobs, and giving away something like Indeed Assessments is an investment in that,” Mr Hyams said.
The efforts by SEEK and Indeed.com to move closer to an employer’s ultimate hiring decision comes as their traditional job advertisement businesses face growing competition from tech giants like Google, which last year launched an applicant-tracking tool called Google Hire, and a job ad-scraping venture called Google for Jobs.
Facebook and Microsoft, which bought LinkedIn in 2016, have also joined the race to bring more of the recruitment market online.
While IBISWorld estimates revenue from Australia’s employment placement and recruitment services market will be $12.2 billion in 2017-18, online recruitment services still account for just $383 million. However the online market is projected to grow at 5 per cent annually out to 2023, helped by the addition of more value-adding services, while the overall recruitment business is tipped for just 1.6 per cent average growth.
SEEK controls 84.1 per cent off Australia’s online recruitment market, according to IBISWorld.
Indeed.com is the larger company globally, turning over $2.5 billion in calendar 2017, according to the financial results of its Japanese parent, Recruit Holdings. However its a relative minnow in Australia, where SEEK has long refused to allow it to scrape its job ads.
Indeed Australia Pty Ltd’s accounts reveal an after-tax profit of $179,693 in calendar 2017, off revenue of $23.4 million.