Sunday, 03 July 2022

Recruitment Start-Ups: Would You Rather Be!

Recruitment had it's best ever year for global revenues in 2019. The recruitment industry in the UK turnover reached £38.9 billion in the year to March 2019. Between the United States, Japan, and the United Kingdom, recruitment & talent management generated far over $200Billion in revenues.

The Recruitment Times will be highlighting the founder stories of global recruitment businesses and entrepreneurs, seeking insight to inspire and guide as well as to monitor industry health and trends. In the age of COVID-19 and it's impact on businesses, we will be following the journey of some of these brave founders.

Would You Rather Be! Logo

Nesta is an innovation foundation. They use their expertise and funding to help tackle society’s biggest challenges. Nesta’s research suggests that more than 6M people in the UK are employed in occupations that are likely to radically change or disappear in the next 10 years. This is due to automation, population aging, urbanisation and the green economy. And coronavirus has intensified the importance of this problem. It suggests that a prolonged lockdown could result in 6.5M people losing their jobs. Of these workers, 80% don’t have a university degree. That's a lot of people who may need help seeking an alternative career or an alternative job they can enjoy or tolerate. Into this opportunity steps Phil Hewinson amd his startup product ‘Would You Rather Be!’

He has raised £550k in the first quarter of 2020 during the COVID-19 lockdown in London,UK. The funds were raised from the venture capital (VC) investment firm Forward Partners, and three angel investors. A £50,000 grant was awarded by Nesta as the startup was a finalist in Nesta’s CareerTech Challenge.

Phil started this project in June 2019 with the aim to help people find a satisfying career. Now he has the funding to enable him to focus on the project full-time (and maybe hire a small team to grow the product and the operations), he is experimenting with how to generate revenue with the application. In the early experiments (placing ads by the career discovery questions, and charging for results) Phil learned that users looking for a new career don’t want to spend money on career discovery.

Phil's mission though is to help people find careers that are most satisfying to them. He started crafting a solution by looking at the basic principles of the problem, coming up with attributes that match really well to jobs. He compiled a list of 400 careers and tried to pick one word that best describes what each career is about and why someone might find it satisfying.

For example: Accountant is ‘money’. Solicitor is ‘law’. Nurse is ‘improve wellbeing’. Secondary school teacher is ‘teaching’.

This yielded a list of about 50 qualities that best describe each career, which meant there was a nice overlap between the 400 careers. This formed the basis for the proprietary algorithm Phil built to map people’s choices when shown pairs of careers to a final list of qualities and careers that should suit them best.

In practice, via the web application, the job seeker answers a series of questions and then is presented with results showing the list of the top qualities of careers that match to the person. The user can then consider the jobs that appeal most to them.

The app can expose people to a lot of career possibilities, broadening their horizons.

A Bigger Product Vision

“I have a whole host of ideas to explore for each of these steps.”
Would You Rather Be! founder, Phil hewinson

There are a few more steps Phil is considering to help get people into a satisfying job. So far, the tool helps people identify the roles that may satisfy them, but it could also help people to identify the ideal companies for them that have these open roles, help them get a job there and then help them flourish in that job.


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