If you were ever searching for a job during the past two decades, there’s a good chance you’ve used an online job board; a website that lists jobs supplied by employers. Such a “board” could’ve been found on shop windows, in newspapers, and now on the Internet.
If at first there were only one or two such websites, now there are thousands of job boards that feature open positions for candidates to consider. Each has evolved in its own way; some are focused on a particular industry, others functioning in certain geographical locations. But they all have the same goal: giving job seekers as many choices as possible.
All of these digital solutions implemented sorting and filtering functions.
BUT: given the increasing number of job openings, isn’t this becoming a problem bigger than a geographical or skill-level filter?
In the US last year there were 6.7 million job openings and 4.8 million in China, but with only 1.7 million new jobs created only at the beginning of 2019, you can tell that the problem of job-seeking becomes bigger on a global scale.
In regard to technology, when there are millions of records that need to be analyzed and matched, artificial intelligence is the de-facto solution. Anyway, the recruiting industry’s problem is not as simple as mix and matching everything into one bowl and get good results. People don't have so much time and patience to spend on the interview, while employers don’t have so much money to spend in the process. A recent survey by the Society of Human Resource Management found that the average cost per hire is over $4,000. So, if technology alone can save their time and money, what’s the solution?
Surprisingly, the industry itself, with a little push from technology. That’s why we are going to introduce the characteristics of a three-sided market model where candidates, employers, and a network of referrers can share the best opportunities with the help of a technology implementing the best parts of AI and the blockchain, while still not eliminating the most important part: people.
Job boards still rely on 1990s ideas and technology
In the past, the market leaders didn’t get the importance of the human factor. Monster, the largest and best-known job board, is splitting the job postings by industry and overwhelming their users with an infinite amount of job adverts. Indeed organized their job adverts based on the different types of work; (work-at-home, summer jobs, volunteer work), but in the end, the candidate is the one who needs to do the time-consuming groundwork.
The niche players, such as Dice, a technology-focused job board, and TalentZoo, an advertising and marketing focused job board, aren’t adding much value to their users other than taking specific jobs from Jobfeed, one of the world's largest job databases, and presenting these jobs on their websites. Jobfeed is a subsidiary of its textkernel. While some seekers are glad to access these job boards because they’re catered exactly to their needs (or at least the niche players are making it feel that way) these websites are just 1/50th of what Indeed or Monster is. Enterprise employers and job agencies will post their job adverts on most of these job boards (Monster, Indeed, CV-Library, TotalJobs, and Dice) because, guess what, the entry barrier is low. Therefore, the same job vacancies are packaged and presented differently on each website. And it gets even more interesting... Have you heard about Rigzone.com? Apparently, this is a job board for “oil” rig engineers.
Job boards are still popular because college grads are still looking to enter the workforce and professionals looking to change careers, and these websites are still the go-to place for finding jobs. When you’re just getting out of college and you don’t know anything about the job market and recruitment industry, Google becomes your friend. A friend who is recommending to you those online job boards that started early enough to rank up in the Google search algorithm and now have enough money to pour into their business to ensure they remain there. Imagine someone clicking on the first entry (usually an ad from Monster or Indeed) and finding a list of 4,000+ job openings. That’s enough to keep them occupied for life!
What else is occupying your life? Social media; another channel used by companies to recruit talents. Of which, LinkedIn is the most popular one, a platform being custom-designed for professional recruiters to discover candidates, but it does not support social recruiting, personal recruiting, or referral hire. But more to the point, LinkedIn is yet to solve the B2B, B2C, and C2C use cases - Canlead closes those gaps. The other less career-centric social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Google and so on, are all “ok” to connect employers and job seekers, but they are not made for this purpose, which can create a lot of unwanted mismatches.
Job boards, social media and recruiting websites are where employers and candidates are trying to game the system at each other’s expense. Employers are trying to gather as much information about the candidates as they can, and candidates are trying to apply to as many jobs they think they are suitable for, regardless of whether they’re qualified or not. The service is free for the candidates; the employer pays the job boards approximately $0.5 USD per click and circa 20% placement fee to the agencies for each successful hire. The job boards and agencies have less incentive to change their business model because the employers will always need their services. The job market and recruiting industry are heading toward a point where no solution can handle the number of applicants we’re seeing today.
Blockchain, the opportunity sharing economy and referrals
When taking hiring metrics into consideration, employee referrals and referral hires beat hiring from job boards in nearly every category. Employees know good employees and people know good people! That’s a well-known fact and companies want to use their employees’ recommendations to build a manageable candidate pool. While big companies are flirting with this idea because they have the budget to reward successful referrals, there are millions of small to medium-size enterprises that are relying on the low-cost job boards due to their budget.
And that’s where today’s technology can shine. A decade ago, when Uber was trying to compete with the taxi industry, the yellow cab, without owning a single cab, sounded insane. When Airbnb was trying to offer an accommodation service with a spare room in their San Francisco studio office, that too was considered insane! Today, Uber facilitates 15 million rides a day and Airbnb connects 140,000 travelers with hosts in more than 190 countries every day. Why would the same sharing economy model not allow you to refer talents to opportunities or candidates to employers through a global network of referrers and personal recruiters?
We already have companies developing similar solutions for the recruitment industry, so let’s look into some of their solutions. Plentix is a company aiming to connect and reward all participants in an online referral program powered by the blockchain. Cryptocurrency is a go-to technology when it comes to payments and rewarding participants, referrers in this case, but if that’s the only novelty the problem of overwhelming job openings and bad actors gaming the system will still be there. The same allegations can be brought to the Aworker project, which is actually introducing a protocol that can be integrated directly into companies’ applications. But what’s the point if the whole network is based on a reputation score that can easily be exploited by bad-intentioned users. You can see these shortcomings in most blockchain-based projects that are offering a way to reward peer-to-peer recommendations, such as WOM. That’s because a cryptocurrency-powered payment system alone is not enough.
The most innovative solution comes from Canlead, which improves the concept of the social networking that LinkedIn was built on, the sharing economy where Uber and Airbnb found their monumental success, and the token ecosystem in which all these aforementioned companies are hanging on.
Let’s understand how the Canlead multi-party incentive system can motivate a three-sided market of employers, candidates, and referrers to collaborate and create a new “opportunity sharing economy,” as envisioned by Michael Quan, Founder and CEO of Canlead.
Canlead can be described as a blockchain-based online job and business opportunity sharing and referral marketplace.
A marketplace because the recruiters, or referrers (which can be any one of us), are working together within a network of interconnected peers. This is the human factor involved in connecting prospects with opportunities (this is called a referral). And, as a decentralized platform, there are built-in incentives for everyone to be motivated to participate with their best intentions.
In the future there’ll be a network of millions of active referrers (recruiters, agents, leads) trying to snatch a piece of the pie, right? Well, Canlead has a solution for this challenge, too. In order to provide personalized, engaging, and timely recommendations (be it a job or a business opportunity) to millions of candidates (seekers, friends, ex-colleagues) and customers (employers, owners, providers) referred by millions of referrers, Canlead FEEFER Artificial Intelligence will give each opportunity a corresponding weight. This will be one of the primary metrics for sorting opportunities. The most committed and recently interacted opportunities will have higher weightings while opportunities from a long time ago will have lower weightings.
How does Canlead reward successful referrals? Canlead simplifies the payment process with a set of advanced smart contracts hosted on the Ethereum blockchain. One of these contracts is the Canlead Fee Staking System Smart Contract (FairOp) where the customer or employer is spending tokens to advertise their job opportunities, the referrer is staking tokens with the expectations of getting the offer, and to claim the referral (success) fee directly within the trustless system that the blockchain provides.
Finally, how did Canlead addresses the Proof of Opportunity and Referral challenge? This is expressed in a formula where the whole system enforces good behaviours using a combination of the Fee Staking System and new user roles. The staking fee confirms the commitment of the opportunity provided, the referral made and, at the same time, provides liquidity to the Canlead ecosystem and its CAND token. The additional user roles such as the Verifier who verifies the authenticity of the opportunity and referral, and the Mediator who mediates conflicts between multiple parties; customer, candidate and referrer. Canlead not only solved the Proof of Opportunity and Referral problem but offers a self-governed ecosystem, so no more phoney user profiles, fake opportunities and rip-off fees!
Canlead is on the right track, with an experienced team and a working MVP, but only time will tell if their combination of technologies and the creation of a network of referrers will solve the job searching, recruiting and hiring frustration. There will still be millions of jobs and users available on the Canlead platform as these “traffic” could be sourced from Jobfeed and other services but only the five most suitable candidates are allowed to be referred to each customer’s job opportunity by each referrer. By design, the customer or employer gets to choose from a small pool of high quality talents and pay a referral fee on each successful hire. So, in the end, human decides, AI supports, and Blockchain pays. Canlead is just joining the market, while Monster, Indeed, and LinkedIn failed to innovate in all these years of being in the lead. At least we are seeing something different than just the old job boards.
Uber stayed focused on the speed, convenience, and cost of their service. Now, Uber is a unicorn with more than $11 billion in revenue by keeping only 20-25% of the fare and giving their drivers the rest. Airbnb gave hosts the opportunity to run a side hustle that has little overhead costs. Now it rakes in $2.6 billion in revenue by charging a fee as small as 5-15% from their guests and only 3% from the hosts. Both these companies leveraged growing markets for their success, just as Canlead is doing today.
What’s needed in the recruitment industry is an opportunity-sharing and referral platform allowing any two willing parties to transact directly and cost-effectively with each other without the need for a third party. It’s clear that job boards are far from being dead, but with the introduction of decentralized platforms we can hope for a much healthier economy where companies are finding their best candidates and you can find your dream job without even actively seeking it. Because someone is already doing that for you!