The tech power couple reshaping graduate recruitment.
London based tech couple Faiza and Jami launched world’s first innovative recruitment tool called Slync. With their mission to make hiring and applying to jobs possible in 35 seconds.
Following on their successful launch in September, 1883 sits down with the power couple to get an exclusive first look into Faiza and Jami’s journey in developing this innovative technology for younger Millennials and Gen Z.
As Millennials themselves, they grew up with traditional recruitment techniques; dived into interviews and job roles that weren’t for them. With that in mind, Slync was developed to be fine-tuned and cater to the mindsets of the next generation of the workforce. Designed to help individuals nurture themselves, brand themselves in 35 seconds or less and more importantly, allowing digital natives to better manage their performance, their career opportunities and their time.
The answer to solving the next generation’s workforce challenges? Slync! Here’s how they’ve done it…
Tell us about the concept behind Slync?
Every individual is a brand. And to champion the brand in you; Slync was born. Slync is a social hiring app created for the mindsets of younger Millennials and Gen Z.
Slync defies paper CV’s and advocates Video CV’s as a platform to personally brand yourself. Articulating skills and personality on a paper CV can be ego-crushing, especially when you have so much to say; and with so few words to be expressive. It also becomes challenging for hiring managers to visually imagine the candidate through their choice of words. With Slync, candidates can be identified by potential employers through a quick screening process. Candidates can also engage with company videos and posts through their newsfeed functionality; encouraging applicants to get a feel of various company cultures.
Recruitment is such a competitive industry, why do you feel there is a gap in the market?
The recruitment industry is indeed competitive and heavily saturated. However, companies, in-house recruiters and education experts are slowly recognising the distinctive footsteps of this generation and challenging their existing recruitment models.
Slync has targeted a Snapchat generation; a generation that has disrupted the existing models of advertising, recruitment and technology. Slync has identified multiple factors affecting the recruitment industry at the moment. Such factors include sourcing quality candidates at the initial screening stage, lack of employee retention and lack of candidate/company fit, changes in candidate behaviour (Gen Z and younger Millennials entering the workforce) and the inability to showcase personality through paper CV’s. With Slync, companies can identify talent through the use of Video CV’s; enabling employers to assess candidates based on personality and skillsets. Employers can share their company culture by posting about their company values and their people. This gives candidates a better understanding of the company and their culture. And most importantly, application process times are reduced through simple UX and UI.
Which type of applicants are you targeting?
Slync is targeting early talent- younger Millennials and Generation Z.
What type companies have you signed up so far?
We are currently hosting a variety of jobs from some of the most hirable industries. These include but are not an exhaustive list: media & publishing, tech and HR.
What has been the reaction so far to recruiters and applicants?
Recruiters love the idea that they can see a candidate before they call them in for an interview. Often recruiters find a lot of disparity between CV’s and meeting the individual in person. Therefore, by seeing video CV’s, recruiters save time and money as well.
We have received some great feedback from candidates. They love that they have the ability to upload a quick video and apply to jobs through a simple click of a button. They also thought the app was creative and many of our candidates found comfort that their video CV will reduce bias. They also loved our ‘nominate a friend’ functionality.
Would having a video CV encourage recruiters to make decisions based on racial /gender bias?
Hiring managers need to be conscious about the fact that people are the foundation of their company and they need to focus on them to build their culture. In fact, due to the new wave of talent that is emerging into the industries, companies need to find new ways of interacting with them. Generation Z and younger Millennials are well-rounded learners by nature. Their skills go beyond their CV’s especially growing up with endless digital access, their ways of thinking and doing things are completely different from that of other generations.
Diversity hiring has been a long-discussed topic over the past several years. Video CV’s help to aid the process of making diversity hires. Diversity breaks workplace homogeneity and leads to inclusive decision making. The stats are varied on this, but most diverse teams with inclusive decision making make almost 87% better decisions.
Do you worry that video CV’s could scare off some applicants who don’t feel comfortable being on camera?
Although, a video CV can be daunting for job seekers; when you’re called into that interview room and it’s just you and the employer you still have to outshine yourself beyond the paper CV. Whereas, if you have been selected for an interview based on your video, then many qualities are already tick marked for instance your tone of voice, your eye contact on video, and how you articulate your sentences all define you as a person.
Tell me about your backgrounds?
We are both originally from Bangladesh. However, we both completed our education from the UK. I (Faiza) studied Journalism and International Development and Jami studied Business Management. We come from multilingual backgrounds and speak several languages. We are also well-travelled and have primary education in many different countries due to our families moving countries.
How did you start the business?
We started our business while we were students and while we were still dating each other. I remember being quite upset when I gave in my final dissertation paper as I didn’t know what I was going to do with my life. We both started researching market trends and realized that the idea that needed to be solved was so close to our hearts. Graduating from university was never an easy bridge to cross. My university wasn’t very supportive in helping me look for jobs. And also being a foreign student wasn’t easy either. There were many restrictions to working in the UK and when most people asked about your work permit they would almost immediately shut the door on you. So we decided to create a product that would encourage personal branding for early-talent because that was the hardest part for me- trying to get people to hire you based on your skillsets and personality. And when looking around, I saw some of the best candidates had graduated without any job offers because there just wasn’t enough support for students and graduates.
What challenges did you have and how did you overcome them?
As a startup the challenges are endless. You create a product with your customer discovery sessions as the foundation of your MVP. The product is launched but nobody wants your product anymore? It’s disheartening but the art is to look past and think of a process through which you can build traction. If plan A doesn’t work move to plan B. But you need to move quickly because a start-up is already like a sinking ship the day it launches. If you don’t care and cater to its needs, you won’t see success.
Another challenge was hiring the right people for Slync. We went through countless interviews to secure the best. We realised over the years that your people are your secret gems. The right hire can make you accelerate your growth margins while the wrong hires, especially at the startup stage, can set you back. So even if it takes several weeks to hire the right person, dedicate that time because it will give you the results in the end.
What advice would you give to others on setting up a start-up?
The thing to always remember is loving what you are creating. If you don’t have your heart in it, it most probably won’t work. We have failed several times before creating Slync. But when it works, it’s a beautiful feeling and it’s that feeling that creates the appetite to never give up. Also, don’t be too hard on yourself. As individuals, we are our best and worst critic. Normally, things will go wrong. But it’s making the right decisions in the hardest moments. I say go with your intuition when your expertise and life lessons aren’t helping you anymore. I promise your intuitions won’t ever let you down.
What are the next steps for Slync?
With the right kind of engagement, Slync intends on making hiring possible for the global community of storytellers in pursuit of their perfect career opportunity.
Photography Luoana Negut @uptownstyleblog