Back in 2013 when Mahesh Muralidhar launched his startup Ureferjobs, the potential the business had to change the approach companies have towards recruitment was evident. However, in such a competitive and crowded vertical, achieving the level of scale he was after meant that Muralidhar needed to be knocked down a couple of times and learn a few things about exactly what it was his customers wanted and where exactly his platform would fit within the ‘recruitment space’.
In 2014 those learnings were accelerated after Ureferjobs was accepted and went through the INCUBATE accelerator program at Sydney University. A number of pivotal changes were made to the platform to give the startup an entirely new value proposition, which in my opinion has made the venture a startup to keep an eye on in 2015.
The way the platform works is that it allows users to refer jobs to their peers and win significant cash rewards if it is their referral that leads to a placement. Companies post their jobs on the platform and allocate cash bounties of $2,000 or more for successful referrals – this gamifies the recruitment process and allows companies to benefit from a much faster and more cost effective turn around time, given that referrals make up for a large bulk of hires – especially within technology companies.
From an outsider’s perspective, you would be forgiven for just thinking that Ureferjobs is just another ‘job search’ platform with its signature ‘bounty’ component as the main point of difference. In fact, I would say that this is the biggest false-perception that the startup will need to overcome. While it is true that things were that simple in the beginning, during the time at INCUBATE the startup under-went a slight pivot to enhance its product offering and create a degree of engagement that I personally think other platforms within the job search space fail to provide.
Ureferjobs is now an end-to-end hiring platform. While Muralidhar – who has a strong background in recruitment himself – understands that the ‘sourcing’ aspect of the recruitment process is quite often one of the biggest pain points for companies searching for talent, managing the process is just as difficult and time consuming. The aim is for Ureferjobs to become an integrated part of (at first technology companies’) HR and talent search processes. This has meant that, in addition to the external referral features of the site, an employee referral system has been created.
Also, companies can build a profile page so that potential candidates can get to know a bit more about them when searching for jobs, and key stakeholders within the company can work through the entire recruitment process within the platform without having to send emails and use multiple technologies. The system is intuitive with an applicant tracking system, online collaboration, avoids the need for emails, and is made for businesses, so they can avoid the exorbitant costs recruitment firms charge and enjoy a seamless recruitment process.
To date, Ureferjobs has remained completely bootstrapped as a company, choosing to focus on the product and customers. In doing this, the team of four full timers has been working nearly exclusively with four technology companies to nail the product and get it exactly right. Those customers are Balance Labs, Uber, Freelancer, GoCatch, and Canva, who currently have various jobs on the platform. The great thing is that this also means that the platform is making sales and has been able to take care of all its costs through these sales, a rarity in such an early stage business within this particular industry.
From a product perspective, the startup has also hired a full time UI designer very early on as a core employee. Muralidhar told Startup Daily that the look and feel of the site plays a major role in the continued use of the site by customers, and says that he thinks even though most startups would not usually invest in this type of role prior to raising capital, he feels it was a smart tactical decision for the company.
Ureferjobs will undergo a seed funding round this year of between $300,000 and $500,000. This will most likely be cash from Australian and New Zealand investors who are currently showing some strong interest in the platform.