Retail recruiting may be getting a whole lot easier thanks to the recent launch of Capango.
The job-matching platform built by Natural Insight, a cloud-based retail workforce-management system in Sterling, Virginia, brings a fresh approach to this massive segment of the recruiting landscape, offering job seekers a fast and friendly way to shop for a job.
The biggest differentiator from competitors including Indeed, Snag and ZipRecruiter is that it has done away with the résumé.
“When you are hiring a $12- to $18-an-hour retail worker, a résumé is no indication of their ability to be successful,” said Stefan Midford, president and CEO of Natural Insight. In many cases, these workers have little or no real job experience, so their résumés hold little useful information about how they will perform, he said. “It’s all about finding passionate, communicative individuals who will be great brand ambassadors, not just someone trying to get through a shift.”
Instead of résumés, the platform asks candidates to answer a series of questions about the kinds of work they want to do, their favorite pastimes and hobbies, and what they think makes them stand out. They are also asked to create a 60-second video talking about their ambitions and what they are looking for in a job.
The questions and video are designed to tease out what candidates are passionate about, and to help employers gage their enthusiasm and communication skills, Midford said.
Once they complete the questionnaire, the app analyzes their responses and candidates can instantly see what jobs they’ve been matched with. They “swipe right” on the ones they are interested in, and if the employer also swipes right, the two are connected and can move forward with the interviewing process.
Automating elements of recruiting process is the natural next step for frontline recruiting, said Vinda Souza, vice president of marketing for Bullhorn, a staffing industry technology firm. “For high-volume, low-wage jobs, automation is more efficient for candidates and employers.”
Such innovation in retail recruiting is long overdue, according to Holger Mueller of Constellation Research. Retail has among the highest turnover rates of any industry and a massive number of openings. In April 2018 alone, there were 723,000 job openings, according to the National Retail Federation. And the number of openings this year compared to last are on the rise.
“Retailers need to find a way to find the right talent faster, and make sure to keep talent on board,” Mueller said. “This means making it easier for the applicants through new interaction paradigms.”
Copying the format and familiarity of popular consumer apps is a logical move, he said. “The talent pool for most entry-level retail jobs are being recruited from the millennial generation, and those candidates are more than comfortable with video, and ‘swipe left-swipe right’ apps.”
It remains to be seen whether Capango will catch on with candidates. The app has been rolled out nationwide, and dozens of Natural Insights’ customers are already posting positions. The company has also extended invitations to 350,000 potential users through a partnership with the Shop retail association.
However, Capango’s chances for success will hinge on three things, according to Mueller.
• Getting the jobs on the site that are in demand.
• Keeping the user interface fresh and suited to millennials.
• Managing growth.
“When you don’t have the jobs – the best UX paradigm doesn’t matter; and when you have the jobs, but can’t reach the users – it doesn’t matter either,” he said.
Sarah Fister Gale is a writer in Chicago. Comment below or email firstname.lastname@example.org.