Last week, it was with pleasure that I caught up with Justin Babet. I have known him for years while he was the MD of Xpand, a recruitment firm with activities in Australia and APAC. But this time it wasn’t to talk about who I will be hiring in a near future but to talk about his new venture: Jobadvisor.com.au.
“It’s the same concept as rating and review sites in other industries such as travel but instead of rating a hotel, users can rate their employer,” Justin said. “We’ve seen employers using Facebook and other sites to background check employees before making an offer. JobAdvisor is the same process in reverse because it allows candidates to background check employers,” he added.
Launched last month, JobAdvisor follows the lead of businesses in the travel (Tripadvisor) and dining (Urbanspoon) sectors that have been revolutionised by online ratings.
It reminded me of another venture launched a few years ago by some ex-Expedia guys in the US: Glassdoor.com. Similarly to Glassdoor, Jobadvisor provides the “inside” story on what it’s like to work for certain companies, based on real and anonymous reviews from their employees. The big difference is that, while Glassdoor is really skewed towards American companies, JobAdvisor’s goal is to become the most trusted and detailed information resource on Australian Employers.
Justin mentioned that feedback from employers has been surprisingly positive. “Our biggest fear was that employers would hate it but the overwhelming feedback has been very positive. Employers know how hard it is to find quality people and this is another channel to promote their employment brand. Instead of pointing prospective candidates to a corporate careers page, they can now point to a page that contains honest reviews from real employees. The reviews are like testimonials, they build trust much more effectively than traditional branding and marketing messaging because they’re more authentic.” It actually does make sense when you think about it. Who can be the best advocates of a company other than its people? Jobadvisor is also a good way for those companies to build brand awareness.
The site is nicely done and allows employers to do some branding through dedicated company pages (with the possibility to integrate their Facebook and Tweeter feeds). There is also a recruitment tool where candidates can submit their CV and apply for jobs. Lastly, Jobadvisor is planning to offer very soon satisfaction benchmarking and reporting.