Getting Paid to Interview for Jobs?

A new start-up called NotchUp is trying to "fix" the recruiting industry by introducing a new paradigm, one in which top candidates, whether actively or passively seeking a new job, are offered fees to accept job interviews from companies looking to fill positions.

A guy I met while in New York was exploring a similar idea where headhunters posted "their" candidates' resumes to "bid" on job postings listed by companies. Each job would have a bounty attached to it, which would be paid to the recruiter if their "bid" was successfully hired and retained for X months.

I'm excited to see how models such as this pan out, where economic incentives are used to solve for problems in the status quo, such as candidates' time not being valued and companies being restricted to speaking only to candidates who are actively job hunting (and, in turn, candidates not evaluating their options to at least confirm they're happy where they are).

Anyhow, I signed up and invited 450 of my closest LinkedIn friends. Interested in joining? Let me know and I'll refer you.

More about NotchUp (from their site)

"NotchUp was started by Jim Ambras and Rob Ellis, two managers who have collectively recruited hundreds of candidates.

On the corporate side, we noticed three common themes in the recruiting process at every company we worked at – significant amounts of time and money are wasted in the recruiting process, key unfilled positions can cripple a company’s growth, and every company wants to hire great individuals.

As individuals who have interviewed for our share of jobs, we noticed the system was equally broken.

The recruiting process for candidates is characterized by cold calls and mass emails, outside recruiters that don’t have your best interests at heart, and taking time out of your busy schedule to interview with a company that doesn’t always seem interested in you.

The only winners in all of this are job boards and headhunters.

We realized there had to be a better way to connect companies and candidates. "


Noah D. Roth said...

Unfortunately neither of these models will solve "the problem," because each relies on changing the economics in favor of one party.

In the case of NotchUp, I'll be very interested in seeing if companies are willing to pay passive candidates to listen. My sense is that too many candidates will cut the cuopon to make this work for the hiring companies.

BountyJobs' problem is that allows hiring companies to dictate low costs with no input from the recruiters, meaning recruiters have little incentive to submit candidates there, when the same candidates have a higher value elsewhere. Client companies are finding that this makes the pace of submissions painfully slow. Same goes for their competitor, Talenthire.

More fundamentally... if you think that the system is broken because "candidates time is not valued, and companies can only interview active candidates," you haven't dealt with great recruiters.

dpm said...

Fair points Noah.

For models such as BountyJobs and Talenthire, the point is to determine a market equilibrium price for candidate placements, which could take some time. If companies just view these platforms as bargain hunting grounds, then they're missing the point. Naturally, setting your price too low is going to yield fewer candidates, just as recruiters wouldn't take on a case if the company isn't willing to pay fair value.

For NotchUp, of course there will be some candidates just in it for the money and it will likely require more interviews to find a passive candidate willing to leave their job. That said, the fraud/spam in most online communities can be effectively contained (though never eliminated), and should be "priced in" to the model quickly enough. It'll take some experimentation for companies (and NotchUp) to see if the economics really do result in lower placement pricing (hopefully factoring in additional employee time spent in interviews, and other such secondary costs).

On the last point, sadly, not all recruiters are as diligent about their work as you are. Based on my own experience and that shared by numerous friends, there appear to be far more bad recruiters out there than great ones, often resulting in both candidates' and companies' time being wasted. I don't think these models pose any real threat to the great recruiters, because they add value well beyond their fees. However, if they can come to replace all the bad ones out there, the result could be significant gains in efficiency for the industry as a whole.