We recently caught up with JobFlix Co-Founder Carl Coddington on The WorkLifeShow. He gave us some valuable insights into the future of recruitment. He also spoke about the importance of using “video” during the recruitment process and shared his thoughts on how the role of AI will evolve and influence the hiring process.
Tell us a bit about JobFlix.
Jobflix is a recruitment platform where talent experience and personalised job opportunities happen through video. The easiest way to think of it visually is to imagine it is Netflix for jobs.
That sounds clear and concise. I understand that you were in the recruitment industry for a very long time. Tell us about how you came up with this idea and how did you start Jobflix?
My background has been in the recruitment industry (for over 15 years). I've worked across three different continents that’d be as far as Australia, the US, and Europe. The recurring theme across that experience is that there's a lot of distrust and lack of transparency in hiring especially from the candidate experience. With that in mind, people feel like they're blindly applying to jobs and that they don't really understand or get a better context of what it's like to actually work there.
With the evolution of the internet and the way data is on phones, video as a medium is much more viable now to consume and it's actually the way that the search engine traffic is going. It was honestly quite an easy light bulb moment in our team. We figured that actually we're answering the same question every time: what is it like to be there, what are the people like that work there? And what is something that traditional job advertisements don't do? They don't stand out!
They are one-dimensional in how they explain things and they don't really give you a full picture like a video can. If you think about what a picture does for a text of a million meanings, imagine what a video does to a picture. We wanted to bring jobs to life by showcasing the unique culture and the unique identity of companies. The way you do that is to get the people who work there to talk. What is it like to work there? Why do I like to be here? What is the environment like? That is the essence of Jobflix. It was really just to bring the jobs to life and I like to always catchphrase it in this way, would you rather watch the trailer or the credits of a movie?
For me definitely the trailer! I'm sure it's probably the same for most people. That's really interesting, basically you think that it's a great way for companies to express their company culture to the world. Why this is the best place for a candidate to join the company. What's your personal experience with this idea of matching candidates with companies or vice versa? Do you have any personal experience?
Yes, having worked in recruitment for a long time, one of the best assets a recruiter can do on behalf of a company is really promoting their culture, promote the life, and working experience of being there. It is to actually give the best introduction you can through conversation of what they / the manager really is aspiring to do with that opportunity. And so this is really replacing that need, enhancing and enabling recruitment for anybody who's in recruitment. Whether you're an agent, whether you're a company, whether you're the candidate looking to apply, video will be the icebreaker.
It will allow that person to get a better insight and reflect on the idea of; do I really want to work there? Is this somewhere I feel I belong? It is more than just applying for a job and then six months later having the feeling that this is actually not what I wanted. This is not the environment I wanted but I feel obliged to join because I'm committed to my career. We want to improve that sense of belonging and video inherently instills empathy for people. It's how you can sell your story.
Carl, how do you think video could impact the hiring process?
Great question. Video will build empathy stronger than words can on their own. We're not naturally born copywriters. Most of us don't spend a lot of time creating wonderful stories with our text so video can allow the experience to be far greater by showcasing and promoting people. Showing the environment and embodying that with the culture that they want to promote
that they have as a business.
Job descriptions tend to say things like “we're a collaborative culture, we have a dynamic work environment” but that's left to the eye of the reader of what that actually means. If you did a quick "MTV Cribs" style walkthrough of your office, instantly people can visualise, that's where my desk could be. It's about creating that inception in your mind of I want to work there and video will always beat text when it comes to that. And something that's really interesting as a statistic is that a reader tends to only remember 10% of what they read. But on video it's as high as 90%. They'll remember because video has more sensory to your memory. It can impact just by remembering that identity in that brand of that company far greater than text will.
Very interesting, so it's really about showing instead of telling right? As a fun, storytelling format. How do you think AI could help the recruitment industry?
We are in a moment of time where AI is becoming innovative within hiring and in most industries, we talk about it in the autonomous driving manner. In recruitment itself, the two things that tend to take a big toll on hiring is time and our bias. Where AI can really help is improving the efficiency of time, filtering through profiles and matching. It's a big part of where AI can really help in the sourcing part which is always quite difficult for companies. It's very conceptual of where people have experience in qualifying people. If you set the parameters right, you can get sourcing done really quickly.
The second part is how a lot of companies and us as human beings operate. We like to gravitate to people that we feel we have the most rapport with or the people that remind us of ourselves. While that's good for certain teams as a company of a whole, for innovation to really take place you want to hire people that are not like you but share the same sort of principles and values. This is where AI has the potential to really improve that unnecessary bias by setting upfront the things that would make this company great and let AI take care of that.
This is done by bringing the right sourcing, filtering to your business and having the AI doing the pre-screening for you. Thus, when you're at the interview stage, you're interviewing people that you may have already said no to in the past because of what school they went to or what brands that they work for that you don't identify with. That's where biases are controlling at the moment, how we make decisions. AI can actually improve that quite a lot. With Jobflix we're creating a lot of algorithms that are going to improve and enhance that matching based on behavior.
What people tend to do when they look for a job is they look for something that they can do rather than focusing on what they can become. The reason people leave jobs is that they feel they're not growing anymore. There can be a number of reasons but a common reason is that they feel like they've stopped learning or they stopped growing. Hence, our mission is to really provide aspirational information so that they can not only see that that's something that they would like to do but it's also something they would like to become in that job. I think AI can help speed the evolution of that.
It is interesting that you mention the human element. As someone might have the same or different kind of bias over time. But when there's a new hiring manager joining the company, he or she would probably have a different set of bias. I guess AI could also eliminate or bypass that in terms of hiring.
Yes, this is interesting because of the culture. While we may have this kind of umbrella culture of our values in what the company stands for and that's if they've managed to totem those values. We have micro-cultures in companies where people will hire based on something that is really close to them. Someone they feel most comfortable with and they feel have the most rapport with. Which might be right for that person but might not serve the company overall. I think the other thing to highlight with AI - is where I think AI can really power us up - is that it doesn't overtake human intelligence. Having those two combined, I think is the formula.
Where AI can drive efficiency and unbiased filtering, human intelligence should also really be supporting those decisions. It allows us to spend more time on our intelligence on the quality of that experience. I think that's where we don't have time in recruitment. We don’t have time to spend on the quality of experience and candidates who go through a hiring process often feel quite exposed. They feel that the communication is missing. The important things that we care about are neglected because we're dealing with so many moving parts in hiring. AI and human intelligence together I think is really the answer.
Do you think AI will become the future of the recruitment market? And more precisely, is it something that Jobflix will take on?
I think it's too early to say exactly where AI is going to replace a lot of the human aspects - and how much. I think where the magic will happen is at that tipping point of where they both work in parallel. Especially, if we improve the systems and the processes that we use to find, attract, recruit people and onboard people. AI can definitely move the needle for the whole journey from becoming a stranger to an employee. I think where human interaction is critical, is in the fact that we all need connection. That is where we need to understand how AI and human intelligence could work together.
Cool! Tell us about the perfect user experience of Jobflix in a few years time. Either as a recruiter or as a job seeker / candidate?
Ideally it would be a two-sided market. The optimal scenario - in the future - not now, is that looking for a job and job opportunities are presented to you in your own dashboard. This way you are not inundated with a long list of a thousand jobs that you need to scroll through. These will be very personalised and tailored to your aspirations, skill sets and your relevant experience. It is about giving you that next step in your career rather than always trying to jump the ladder. To understand where the journey is guiding you.
I think that's what the platform can provide people. Give them exposure to the best opportunities available. We use a simple, similar grid format and in there you'll be able to engage with videos and then apply to what excites you the most. Rather than just applying to everything and sending your CV to everyone. The journey for us is actually reducing quantity and improving the quality of your experience with jobs. Resulting in you not needing to apply to many jobs but apply to the ones that count.
I am not one who likes to be in front of the camera or on video. I am sure many people would agree with me and feel the same way. What kind of advice would you give to those people?
Being on camera is something that we're not naturally trained for - to be facing and talking into a camera. I think there is a very quick hack and one of those is to talk like I'm talking to you now. Cameras are here but I'm engaged with you. One way you can get your point across is having someone interview you. That person can be someone else in the company who asks you three or four questions. You then take as many takes as you need to get the answer right.
What is really important - is that these responses are not scripted. The person answering the questions should not try and read off a teleprompter. They also should not write any bullet points down. Naturally, they can take a moment to think about what they want to say. At Jobflix we have broken this down into something called ‘quick clips’. These are 30 - 60 seconds maximum soundbites. You can say a lot in a minute. If you can aim for 30 seconds and less then you don't have to remember too much and you can get your main points across.
Another thing to highlight when you are recording is that you are not there to regurgitate the job description. Most of the videos that people want to watch are not ones where people recite the job spec. If they want to get the ingredients, they can look at the role below the video and take time to understand whether they qualify or not.
Pre-qualification, they want to be watching videos showing for example - why Sean likes to work at Staff Treats. When being recorded, we human beings feel most comfortable talking about our likes and interests. We enjoy this more than having to think about certain things to say. Above all pick people who are confident, bubbly, and relaxed in front of the camera. You don't need to have every single person jump in front of a camera.
That's for the hiring manager!
Right, you can rotate people that you feel would work best and introduce them over time. Start to show them how it has worked for others and get ideas. Essentially, they will be talking to each other like we currently are. I think that's the main point and how you should get started.
Carl, since you have worked in recruitment across the globe, do you see Jobflix doing the same in the future?
Absolutely! The reason for that is because this is about personalising job opportunities to people and connecting them with an employer. That employer can be based anywhere. At the beginning we're focused on the UK market. Currently, a lot of the work and talent that flows in is from the South-East, London. As we grow and get more identity as a brand - we will start launching in other cities and countries around the world.
What we have noticed and think is interesting is that because recruitment is global - we have seen a lot of people apply to jobs here in the UK that are based as far as Australia, Hong Kong or China. Presently, they apply and find these job opportunities either on job boards or through advertisements in their local country. What we want to do is make these opportunities accessible. This way, if you are looking for a job opportunity on the other side of the world, you will be able to find it through one platform.
That is where this could be a very big playing field for us. However, as it stands - we are focused locally. We are testing and making sure that the experience and transparency of the jobs are high. We don't want to roll it out to everybody and be weak in the area. We want to be the strongest player!
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