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Get ready for Switch, a free iOS app from a startup of the same name. Often dubbed the Tinder of job search apps, Switch uses algorithmic matching to connect job seekers with relevant positions from employers and to show potential job candidates to hiring managers.
As with Tinder, job seekers swipe through potential matches. When you see something you like, you can submit your career information (anonymously). Similarly, when an employer’s hiring manager flicks through prospects and likes you, the app enables him or her to connect with you to begin a dialogue.
New York City-based Switch was founded in 2014 by Yarden Tadmor, its CEO, and currently has 12 employees. Though Tadmor wouldn’t disclose how many users Switch has, he shared the month-over-month percentage growth in job applications generated by Switch users — which hit 88 percent growth in June before jumping to 220 percent in July.
LinkedIn, Career Builder, and Monster are still largely just “job boards,” Tadmor claims. “I wanted to create an interactive job marketplace with a very convenient mobile user experience that makes it advantageous for people who have a job to participate.”
Tadmor says the majority of jobs today go to candidates who are already employed but are interested in ‘switching,’ which is the app’s target audience. The majority of its users are about 10 years into their career and have an entry-level or mid-level position, though some are older and more established.
To make Switch’s mobile job marketplace easy, Tadmor wanted to create a user experience similar to popular apps and messaging tools such as Tinder and WhatsApp. “The usual lack of transparency and instant gratification are huge reasons why looking for a job is emotionally taxing, inefficient, and slow,” he explains. “We’re trying to move this process forward so it’s fun and easy to connect directly with companies and communicate with them quickly.”
(Switch doesn’t provide a search function. Instead, algorithms push relevant recommendations to both recruiters and job seekers.)
Switch began by focusing on tech in general and startups in particular, which is where most of its job postings and seekers come from. But in the past six months, the app has seen more jobs from retail, food and beverage, business services (such as accounting, legal, and consulting firms), and healthcare.
Most jobs are located in major metropolitan areas, though the app’s coverage isn’t limited to any specific U.S. states or cities, says Tadmor. Corporate users include or have included Amazon, Salesforce, Apple, Google, IBM, Microsoft, eBay, Gap, and Walmart.
The company has received $2.5 million in seed funding thus far. Though Switch is currently free for all users, the plan is to charge companies “at some point in the near future” to post positions and/or gain access to user data, Tadmor says.
Switch’s challenges in maintaining traction are to continue providing a “high-quality matching algorithm” that pushes highly relevant positions to job seekers and the most relevant job seekers to hiring managers, says Tadmor. It’s a “big challenge a lot of companies like us are facing,” he adds.
A quick look at the iOS app’s two reviews illustrate this challenge. One user calls the app “a waste of time,” while another claims to have connected with three companies thanks to Switch.
Other long-term challenges include finding compelling ways to keep users coming back to the app and to scale the app’s growth while maintaining the relevancy of content pushed to users.
In the meantime, Switch will be hiring more engineers, growing its development and sales team, expanding to more industries, adding new product features, and releasing an Android app, Tadmor says.
James A. Martin is a seasoned tech journalist and blogger based in San Francisco and winner of the 2014 ASBPE National Gold award for his CIO.com blog. He writes CIO.com's Living the Tech Life blog and is also a content marketing consultant.