Jobr creates connections at your finger tips

By Jessica Iacullo / Staff Writer

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Forget dreamboats. Think dream jobs. 

Like the dating app Tinder but for career moves, a new smartphone app called Jobr is letting users swipe yes or no on job opportunities. 

Jobr allows users looking for a job to connect with employers without the hassle of a formal job search. TJ Nahigian, the CEO of Jobr, said the idea for the app came after he noticed that opportunities for “professional experience on mobile” lagged behind dating experience. 

Nahigian launched the app in May 2014. According to Jobr’s blog, 1,500 recruiters and hiring managers had listed jobs by Sept. 4. Nahigian said his company was not disclosing further data on the number of users or job connections at this time. 

“Additionally, [I] saw a lot of similarities between recruiting and dating and thought we could improve the experience,” Nahigian said.

Hiring managers on Jobr include Facebook, Lyft, Twitter, The Boston Consulting Group, Yelp, Houzz and Uber. Nahigian said hiring managers can post jobs on Jobr through the app or their recruiter web portal. Jobr screens each hiring company’s post to verify that the jobs are real. 

Jobr connects to the user’s LinkedIn account so that users don’t have to manually enter in their profile data, Nahigian said. Jobr then matches users with jobs based on the criteria found on their LinkedIn pages. 

A user who is interested in the job or hiring company that comes up can swipe right on the phone screen. If the employer swipes the user yes back, then the employer and job-seeker match and have an option for communication. Similarly, a user not interested in the company can swipe left. The same goes for the companies on the other side of the app. If either the employer or potential employee swipes someone as a no, the other party will not be notified.

“We wanted to empower different candidates and recruiters for a more efficient means of exploring of their careers, discovering their options as well as connecting with new candidates,” Nahigian said. 

Jobr is similar to the app Tinder, the dating app launched  in 2012, but is not affiliated with Tinder. 

Though there are some similarities in the user interface to Tinder, such as the method of swiping left or right to match users, there are also some major differences. Jobr has a two-sided marketplace that includes the recruiters or jobs and the candidates, whereas Tinder only consists of one marketplace: the daters. 

“Jobr shows companies [or candidates] rather than just people. There are also different considerations, and I think a lot more that goes into for people who are making a decision on something that is pretty serious: their career,” Nahigian said. 

To Nahigian, career-oriented apps sharing simliarities with casual dating apps like Tinder makes sense in today’s world. 

“I think there is just generally a trend in millennials, and people in general want to have more freedom and be more mobile with in their life,” Nahigan said. 

Pitt spokesman John Fedele spoke on behalf of Pitt’s Office of Career Development and Placement Assistance, which exists on campus to aid students in the job searching process.

“Technology has certainly changed the job search process including the use of apps like Jobr that link job-seekers to employers,” Fedele said. “However, no matter the number of apps or advances in technology, one cannot completely eliminate the work required in the job search process.”

Current Pitt students about to enter the job market had mixed feelings about Jobr. 

“I think the app is a good idea, but I don’t know if I would necessarily use it,” said Phil Green, a junior politics and philosophy major. 

Megan Lundy, a senior studying marketing and supply chain management, said Jobr could be useful. 

“I think that the app is a genius idea and could really benefit college students graduating that are looking to apply to jobs,” Lundy said. “Jobr makes it a lot easier for both a company and the applicant.”

Jason Miller, assistant director of the department of intramurals and recreation andthe owner of Active Pittsburgh — a fitness, sports and recreation website — said Jobr is an interesting concept, but questioned its effectiveness. 

“I get that it matches employers with candidates based on mutual interest, but how is that any different from an employer posting an opening on a job board, the candidate submitting their resume and then the two parties agreeing to schedule an interview?” Miller asked. 

Unlike posting and seeking jobs online, Miller said Jobr uses a machine learning algorithm to tailor recommendations to candidates and recruiters based on their previous swipes.

Miller also worried the app’s advanced technology might limit its reach. 

“I know many young professionals right out of college would probably use it, but what about employers that aren’t tied into the most current technologies and innovations?” Miller asked.

Some employers may not be equipped with smartphones and the latest technology, but Nahigian said Jobr has a web portal for recruiters to post their jobs and speak to candidates more traditionally online instead of through the app. 

While Career Services does not use Jobr or other apps, the Office uses technology to assist students in the job search with FutureLinks, an online career management system for internship and job postings.

Fedele encouraged students to read reviews on apps and websites, like Jobr, and he said they should be prepared to do the work necessary to land an ideal job to launch their careers.

“Apps and other technology may make the search process somewhat easier, but do not replace the personal contact one can make with an employer,” Fedele said. 


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