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This Thai Start-up Wants You to Discover Jobs Like Shows on Netflix

WorkVenture gives jobseekers the ability to make better career choices

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BY Marishka M. Cabrera - 22 Jun 2017

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

If you could choose a company to work for based on online reviews, just as you would pick a restaurant, would you?

After graduating from Chulalongkorn University in Thailand, Jens Pold and Alexander Kerbo saw that finding the right people was still one of the biggest challenges for companies to grow and succeed. Job boards and recruitment channels, they felt, were mostly outdated, ineffective, and lacking in personalization and transparency.

According to Pold, Thailand has one of the highest turnover rates, partly because it is difficult to find information about what it is like working for a certain company. Candidates don’t know what to expect when changing jobs or if the culture matches their personal goals and values.

“Whereas one can read reviews when buying a pair of shoes, booking a romantic dinner or reserving a hotel for a weekend getaway, we found it unbelievable that there was no way to read reviews on what it is like working at companies,” Pold says.

Enter WorkVenture, a Thailand-based job-hunting platform, founded by Pold and Kerbo in 2014. What it does is that it uses “big data algorithmic matching” in order to suggest relevant jobs to candidates—ensuring a highly personalized experience for users, with real insights into what it is like working for those companies. It charges companies for targeted recruitment advertising on its career marketplace.

Pold says the site has had over two million unique professionals in the last year looking or applying for jobs on WorkVenture.

John Thornton, talent director at WorkVenture, says, “We applied machine learning- based algorithmic matching to disrupt the effectiveness of connecting jobs with candidates, similar to what Netflix did to the movie industry and what Facebook did to offline content.”

The platform targets the new generation of educated candidates, ranging from 20-40 years old. Thornton says factors besides salary are becoming increasingly important to job hunters, including professional learning opportunities, personal growth, work-life balance, flexible work, increased accountability, and creating impact. “Company culture plays a very important role—something that often mismatches with lack of information, which leads to ineffective hires and turnover when candidates did not know what to expect,” he says.

According to Thornton, with WorkVenture being the only platform that provides candidates a medium to read and write reviews on companies, companies are compelled to become more transparent and better at managing their employer brands, ultimately benefiting both companies and candidates. “Blindly applying for jobs through other platforms without having the right information to make educated decisions on workplace for us does not make sense and will be eventually a thing of past,” he adds.

He explains that jobseekers tend to feel removed from the application process. “Added to this, candidates have very little resources available when selecting the right job, company, or trying to understand if they are paid fairly. We are addressing the concerns of job seekers by implementing features that give the job seeker the ability to make better career choices,” he says.

On the employer side, WorkVenture works with a wide range of companies—from stock-listed corporations to unicorns and aspiring start-ups. Some of the companies they work with include Uber, Foodpanda, Agoda, Sansiri, H&M, and Microsoft. Says Thornton, “For companies, we also instantly match passive candidates from the database based on what they’re looking for, without the need to search through thousands of resumes.”

Thornton admits companies in Thailand tend to be quite conservative and slow in making decisions about trying out new recruitment solutions or other B2B services. As such, WorkVenture is focusing on building its reputation and working closely with companies to effectively hire and retain this new generation of skilled workers.

WorkVenture has since gotten close to $500,000 in seed funding last year from private investors from Thailand’s leading conglomerates, TCC Land and Pace Development, and is now looking to raise its Series A.

“We're scaling to a large extent through word of mouth as everything we do is greatly disrupting the industry and the way that people discover and grow their careers,” Pold says.

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