First unveiled during JFDI-Innov8 2012 Bootcamp Demo Day, TribeHired.com – a social recruitment website that leverages on community-driven referrals and recommendations by key individuals (such as company employees) to introduce candidates to potential job vacancies within their industries – looked like an interesting way to disrupt traditional job recruitment methods. Instead of relying on usual “submit a resume for different positions and wait for an interview call-up” way to land a dream job, a job seeker can instead tap on existing communities such as online social networks and respected thought leaders in their industries to recommend the right roles for them.
The concept made sense, because this approach gave jobseekers better control over their job options – and certainly leads a to better fit in terms of career expectations – then it did previously. And an individual’s own network of contacts within a certain industry is also far more likely to have more appropriate leads for them then even an experienced recruitment consultant.
It seems that others agree. The startup last week announced that it landed a S$696K (US$560K) seed funding round led by TNF Ventures through the Technology Incubation Scheme under the Singapore’s National Research Foundation (NRF) and supported by Singapore angel investors Ben Ball and Ben Chew, validating TribeHired‘s concept.
“Recruitment is an evergreen industry but it is also ripe for disruption,” shares Shirley Wong, managing partner at TNF Ventures. “We saw that TribeHired’s team has the passion and drive to bring about that disruption. There are others in this space but TribeHired’s team convinced us that they really understand the psychology of social networks and job seekers better than anyone else.” Prior to this round, TribeHired had received pre-seed funding from Cradle Fund Sdn Bhd, a government agency under the Ministry of Finance, Malaysia.
The investment – somewhat ironically – will be used to expand TribeHired’s team to expand both the number of job candidates on the system and on marketing and business development. “(The) investment is crucial to the next stage of TribeHired’s development and not just because it brings us cash to fund our growth,” says Devan Singaram, founder of TribeHired. “In TNF we have access to a team of veteran entrepreneurs who have proved they know how to manage fast growth. Meanwhile Ben Chew brings specialist domain insight around recruitment. It’s great to have that kind of support behind us as we scale up rapidly.”
The startup is currently in intensive beta testing with several thousand users in Malaysia providing feedback around real job opportunities, with clients in the startup space such as Zalora, Lazada, Flocations and Brandtology already using its service. As expected, early adopters are typically ‘Generation Y’ graduates but spread across a range of different industries and job functions. TribeHired currently operates in Singapore and Malaysia but is expected to launch internationally soon.