Last week Venturocket.com secured $700k seed funding.
Before going any further I was disappointed that there is no mobile support, but this product is really hot of the shelf so given this quote from founders bio "He actually can't live without his iPhone" I expect mobile support is on the way!
So why did this Silicon Valley startup catch my eye?
Venturocket.com is trying to change premise the recruitment market is currently built on! Its looking to disrupt the status quo. So how?
The key is talent tag themselves themselves with keywords representing hard and soft skills, professions, qualifications etc and self rate them. The matching engine shows talent suitable vacancies. If talent can see a job which they are a good fit, then that employer / recruiter can see them too. If talent want to connect to an employer (no apply) they pay a small transaction fee depending on the role and vice versa the employer sees matched talent and pays to connect to them depending on their skill levels.
Chatting with Marc Hoag, co foudner at Venturocket I was very excited about the connect approach apposed to apply and sees the opportunity for the employer to cherry pick the talent cherry pick from the connect talent. Marc shared "We do however do something no other site has ever done; we enable them (talent) to request a connection from an employer / recruiter whose job they are interested in. But it is still up to the employer / recruiter to accept the connection. Venturocket is not an application platform or ATS"
I am not a legal expert, but Marc is confident that there connect approach will avoid the potential obstacles in the EU and Australian law surrounding charging candidates to apply.
To me the key to its success is accurate skill rating and Venturocket unique pay to connect approach adds a new dimension. Each skill has a rating slider which shows the distribution of other jobseekers experience for each skill as a graph, this lets you move the slider to where you feel you are in relation to the general workforce. If you know your average you can see where on the slider average is the given skill. So what stops everyone just rating themselves as the best expert and elite? Rating more towards expert increase the fee charged to companies to view your profile. So as a talent you see and set the experience per skill, which in turn drives the costs for each skill keyword, and thus the fee for employers to contact you based on your skill. This is new dimension to talent rating themselves, which could be the success factor.
The fee to connect is low it currently appears to max out around $2.50. This immediately stops application spam - as spamming would simply cost to much. At the moment talent gets a free $20 credit to use to connect to employers.
So will it work? Will recruiters pay the fees? Will candidates pay the fees? The charging element may feel new to the founders but in the past few have managed to take payment from the candidate and the employer. This time round might be different, the mechanics of the skills rating is new and I believe it could generate very accurate results.
This excites me, not just because its a new way of doing things but because it renders the resume redundant. If they add a few profile data items such as basic employer history and references it might deliver the required information to select a candidate. Marc shared that, "We fully expect employers to request resume and study LinkedIn after making connection, but we function as a 'zero filter' tool to enable employer / recruiters to curate the perfect application pool, so they only study resumes / LinkedIn of candidates most likely to be genuinely qualified, we increase the odds of finding a good fit"
If no resume is required, and skills rating is moving a slider across the screen then this has potential be the ideal solution for a preATS mobile selection too - ie easy mApply.
Changing an industry paradigm is tough.
Marc assures me that their recruiter clients find inputting jobs to Venturocket extremely fast and simple. I expect that the area of job data input may be an area where Venturocket will need to align with enterprise recruitment processes. Venturocket will need to support job data feeds from the ATS or job distribution tools such as Broadbean. The challenge for may well be identifying the skills required for a job from within a data feed where the skills are not clearly marked.
It will be fascinating to see how Venturocket develop, I expect it will not be long before we see copycat style skills rating embedded within Talent Communities sign up processes.