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Meet Cocoon: let’s swipe for a job!

While our economical climate starts to improve, new job opportunities arise. Yet the traditional path to finding a job doesn’t seem to meet our needs anymore. It’s just like dating, so why not develop a job searching application using similar functionalities as Tinder?

“We believe that the pursuit of your dream job is similar to the pursuit of real love. You need compatible skills sets, similar visions and personality matches as well as a mutual desire to work together. We believe that every relationship should be based on trust, equality and shared enthusiasm


We had a chat with Martijn Frush, CEO of Cocoon to get more insights about job hunting 3.0:

So why develop an app using a similar format as Tinder, but for jobs?
Previous to Cocoon I worked for a start-up in the travel business, which was a marketplace to connect travelers with locals. It was very hard to monetize it. People liked to use it, but it did not generate enough funds. Once I stopped working for that start-up, I obviously needed a new job, and realized that finding a new job -or even a freelance assignment- could be more informal and equal. Tinder was really on a rise at that time, and looking at it from a business point of view, I really liked the simplicity and equality for the users. That’s when I started talking to Vincent (Cocoon’s CTO) about using this aspect of connecting people within the context of job searching. We felt we could use the same model and interface idea to connect people with companies to facilitate the job hunt; less traditional but more efficient. It’s revolutionizing in the way job seekers and companies should connect. We tend to avoid the term ‘Tinder for jobs’ as we’re about building a long lasting relationship between the connected parties.

How are companies responding to this unconventional method?
We did a research at the start of the development, and what came out from the companies’ side is that they mostly look for a ‘cultural’ fit within the company, and people look for more than just a job. They want something meaningful and a job that matches their personality. The difficulty is to gather a company’s business culture and one’s personality on one business card. Cocoon is an alternative way to find a job, so it doesn’t attract the traditional, formal companies, nor people looking for a 9-to-5 job. At first most companies like the idea. Secondly they ask: ‘How does it affect our current processes?’ Usually, the bigger companies do not want to invest the time in a short call with a candidate as it doesn’t fit their familiar human resource processes. We focus on fast growing online companies and start-ups who distinguish themselves from traditional corporate companies, on the lookout for high potential candidates wanting their job to define who they are.
We operate in a small niche in a way, we actually declined a big player in the finance business who was interested in doing its recruitment for developers via the app because it just didn’t feel right. The will to change is there, yet their policies and assessment processes do not appeal to the job seekers either. It’s one way traffic; the company is only testing the person on its capacities and in the end they ask the candidate out of politeness if he/she has any questions? That’s not an equal way to establish a human relationship, and we really aim for that equality. We need people who get along to reach a successful goal, and a 6, 7-stage process to even get hired won’t do the trick.

How do you plan to compete with the big and well known recruiters such as Monsterboard?
Cocoon is not a tool that ensures a 100% match, but a tool which lowers the barrier to connect. It’s very informal and enables both job seeker and company to instantly feel if there’s a mutual click via a quick chat. The follow-up from then on is a Skype call, phone call or even to grab a coffee. We don’t go from a company that’s looking to fill a vacancy, but want to focus on the ‘person’ that is the job seeker, to find what he/she wants and likes to do. In that sense, recruitment should be somewhat like dating, because on both ends one should be happy with this newly established (and hopefully long lasting relationship).
The big recruitment companies just operate in a different way; they put a vacancy online, wait for the pile of resumé’s to stock up, and when they’ve reached -lets’ say a hundred applications- it’s the time for them to go through them. The hiring companies just sit back until the recruiters have done the hard work for them. Instead, we want the companies to actively take part in the recruitment from the get go. And yes, we do have some competitors with a similar product in the United States, but they’re not really a threat as they focus on their national markets.

What changes do you predict in the field of job search in the coming years?
I believe there will be a shift, and the wish for graduates to work for a corporate company will decrease. People are more and more aware they should feel comfortable in their jobs; to work in an environment that matches their needs and personalities. I already notice it amongst some friends that have been working for corporate companies for 5, 6 years, they are looking for something else in their lives. They have been trained to work in these corporate companies, and they do that successfully. Yet, they feel the need to move to smaller companies. Smaller companies and start-ups don’t always have the financial back-up to pay big salaries, so there can be some friction in the decision making, though they offer different challenges and the possibility to make bigger steps in shorter period of time. At a corporate company people are just numbers. Within a fast growing online company or start-up there’s more room for personal development, which is considered as a very valuable asset these days.

Step out of your comfort zone and let’s swipe for a job! Cocoon sets the standard for new ways of job searching.

The Cocoon app is available on Android only for now, and soon for IOS (planned for this Spring). Of course you can access it from your desktop:

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