Sydney startup Kudzus is an online community helping SaaS companies find fresh talent

- March 10, 2016 4 MIN READ

Traditional recruitment doesn’t always suit the needs of high growth and well-funded startups organisations, especially the ones who come from global markets to find opportunities in the Australian marketplace. For SaaS companies in particular, there’s no real platform in Australia where employers can share their content and stories to potential employees.

Rather than have these companies work with traditional recruiters who don’t always get it in terms of employers’ needs, a Sydney startup has now launched an alternative. Kudzus is a platform that allowing people to follow SaaS startups and open up a communication portal between the employers and the people working, or wanting to work, in the industry.

“It’s for SaaS companies to tell their stories and explain their launch, growth, a bit about what they’re all about, why it’s great to work there and what their actual real growth story is,” explained Alex Holderness, cofounder of Kudzus.

“It’s a new way for SaaS companies to get engaged with brands a lot more naturally. People can read about all this content and they can follow the growth of companies and then essentially, when they want to get hired, they can that through the marketplace, the SaaS community, without actually having to be bombarded by a recruiter.”

Companies can apply to join the marketplace and create a dashboard that helps them find individuals aligned with their interests. These companies are then matched with like minded industry workers, and can flag who they are most interested in.

“It’s about candidates being able to have control of their own career. We have this curation so basically users register their name, email and LinkedIn profile, and then one of our talent advocates has a look at the Linkedin and basically says ‘there’s definitely employers in here who’s kind of a good fit for your career, or we’ve not quite got employers yet.’ We don’t let any recruiters in, we don’t let any sales people in, so it’s a very kind of niche community,” said Holderness.

Kudzus shows individuals all the SaaS companies that are currently hiring and the ones to watch out for that will soon open up in Australia. Users can flag the companies they want to work for and, like Tinder, if there’s a match with the company an interview will be lined up.

With recruiters such as Mitchellake, for example, working with only tech companies and the dozens of general recruitment companies out there taking on clients across the board, Kudzus is entering an extremely crowded market. However, Holderness explained that Kudzus isn’t trying to replace current platforms but rather provide an additional niche marketplace to really connect SaaS companies with the right fit employees.

“You don’t have to get rid of your own recruiter, it’s just this big pool of people on the website who are maybe not looking for a job right now but are really interested in knowing who you are, what you’re about, what we can learn about their career,” she said.

The UX and UI is simple and easy to navigate with pictures, embedded videos and relevant content for professionals to explore the companies they are interested in. News pieces deliver the latest tips in the industry and reveal how companies are growing and which markets they’re expanding into.

“We’ve got a team of journalists here who go in and start to actually speak to these employers and do some videos and cool content,” said Holderness.

For candidates, everything on the site is free and easily accessible. Once a profile is made, similar to Linkedin users can see which companies are hiring and what jobs are aligned with their interests and future goals. The site is also free for employers to set up their profile, share their stories, and communicate with potential employees. Employers only pay a small fee of somewhere between 12-15 percent when they hire someone off the Kudzus platform, like a clip of the ticket model.

Similar niche communities targeting the SaaS industry have already worked in the US, where there is a great need to connect like minded individuals together. SaaS.Community, for example, is like a Reddit or Product Hunt-style platform for people who want to find the latest SaaS news, events and job opportunities in their local community.

In Australia the biggest challenge Kudzus faces is educating people as SaaS grows, and convincing employers to break away from traditional recruitment and shift into the niche marketplaces where information is relevant and tailor-made. Kudzus provides a more transparent view of each SaaS company, as the platform encourages these companies to share their stories and growth patterns, something people can’t find on traditional recruitment platforms.

Kudzus officially launched a few weeks ago with the platform already opening up a talent pool of 1,000 registered users. Holderness said that the site is growing by 100 new interests and 50 new professionals each week..

The startup is currently privately funded and as the platform is still quite new the Kudzus team is waiting to see how big they can grow their community before they look into investment.

Holderness said, “We want to build up our employers and build up the talent pool so that we can really grow it into a proper community. What I’m really passionate about is this content part and, if we have this platform and community, what sort of content we’re going to put on there that can really help peoples careers.”

Image: Damian Williams, Yvette Midwinter, Alex Holderness and Raaj Govintharajah. Source: Supplied