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Barometa - Designing a Next Generation Job Platform

Barometa's founder Rupert Sellers came up with an idea for the next generation job platform for career-oriented people in luxury hospitality. In looking for a technology partner, he chose Netguru.

The idea came from his personal experience. Rupert Sellers started his career in the luxury hotel industry about 15 years earlier and specialized in recruitment for this sector. Working closely with clients and candidates it became clear that the problem could be solved much more efficiently than with the use of  existing recruitment methods - i.e. job boards, LinkedIn and agencies. All of these channels have flaws.

Job boards and aggregator sites may appear cheap, but their focus is on quantity, not quality. It's very easy to distribute a job advertisement, but typically 90 percent of applicant CVs that land in a recruiter’s mailbox are unsuitable. Trying to acquire talent this way is a waste of time and is not cost-effective. Furthermore, companies have to be ruthless in eliminating candidates which can result in hidden gems being missed.

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But perhaps the biggest problem with job boards is that the best candidates don't apply for the advertised jobs. This passive talent is usually the most sought after - They are open to new job opportunities but need to be approached directly.

Barometa’s goal is to change that. It is a recruitment platform that is carefully curated by experienced recruiters, and adjusted to the specific needs of the hospitality industry. 

The Barometa team assess and categorises every candidate by hotel type and job type to ensure the best matches for our range of clients. Ranking of talent is constantly updated on the system from aggregate ratings and comments on candidates generated by the client users. They are able to standardise and optimise the recruitment process for hospitality, making it fast, accurate and cost effective.

Candidates sign-up to Barometa, but unlike LinkedIn, the Barometa platform includes only curated listings which are not made publicly available. Every candidate records a video and is pre-screened and categorized by Barometa to ensure accurate matching. The video profile is kept very simple and is tailored to the hospitality sector. Profiles can only be accessed and viewed by registered employers that are suited to the candidate’s experience and career plan.

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Barometa saves candidates’ time and provides a better user experience. Instead of having to record multiple videos for different job applications, they simply record one standardized video via the platform, answering a few questions that employers will be interested in listening to. These enriched profiles provide valuable insight for an employer. In hospitality, intangible soft skills - warmth, personality, smile, language - are often more important than a degree or even experience. 

Rupert Sellers needed an advanced and impressive prototype he could use when contacting potential investors. He didn't want to put much money into the idea. In looking for a technology partner, he chose Netguru which faced the challenge to get things done in just two weeks.

Challenges

There are several challenges in the hospitality recruitment market that available platforms (LinkedIn and job boards) fail to solve.

LinkedIn provides a platform for active and passive candidates, in that their LinkedIn profiles (like a CV) are publically available for recruiters to view. The problem with LinkedIn is that recruiters struggle to identify relevant talent. Keyword searches generate poor matches, often because users (candidates) exaggerate and add keywords that do not apply to their skills and experience.

Active job seekers, who might lack job stability, tend to spend much more time on optimizing their CV and LinkedIn profiles, compared to people who are not actively looking. Passive candidates are more likely to be high achievers, focused on their work – and in many cases haven’t added searchable keywords in their profile.

Employers need to identify a bona fide agency – there are a few good ones, and there are many bad ones that don’t understand the requirements of clients or candidates. Using a good agency is convenient for recruiters to outsource the process, but this method is very expensive. Should companies have to spend thousands of pounds on a candidate placement, when they could easily find that candidate themselves through a more cost effective channel? Increasingly, many hotel companies refrain from using agencies and instead use their in-house team to source and hire talent. Rupert Sellers, Founder and Managing Director of Barometa

Specific challenges included:

  1. Solving the inefficiencies of online job boards and LinkedIn.

  2. Adjusting the project to a limited budget.

  3. Meeting the 14-day deadline to create the prototype.

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From my previous startup experience, I knew that I needed to build a prototype first, even before building an MVP. I'm a perfectionist and I knew that I could easily get stuck in improving details. It was important this time to prioritise and focus on user journeys and develop essential functionality. There are many ‘nice-to-have’ features I am planning, but these can be designed later. Rupert Sellers, Founder and Managing Director of Barometa

Solution

Being limited to a couple of weeks and having scarce resources, the Netguru team needed to rely on their expertise and engagement. Specifically, Netguru proposed:

  1. Translating the founder's product vision into functional objectives

  2. Identifying the flaws of LinkedIn model and UX design

  3. Consistent and gradual execution of the plan developed during a scoping session

In-depth understanding of the founder's vision was the key to working efficiently. Using an advanced prototype before developing the actual software made the project much more flexible, and was very useful in meetings with potential investors. 

It was great to find out during the scoping session that the Netguru team and I are on the same page. We came up with a plan to build a prototype in just a few weeks. This efficiency makes it possible for me to tweak the model once we get feedback from the first users. Rupert Sellers, Founder and Managing Director of Barometa

Creating the right graphic design was a time consuming process, where communication and critical feedback from Netguru designers proved to be very useful. Weekly calls, Slack interactions, and prototyping using InVision made everything very smooth. 

However, probably the prototype created would not be as good if Netguru hadn't arranged face-to-face meetings with Barometa's founder in those key moments of the project every time it reached a milestone.

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Key Benefits

The project was finished three days behind schedule, however, potential investors can now see how the platform works. The prototype is fresh, clean and different from competitor platforms. Barometa shows much more relevant information in the thumbnails of each candidate than LinkedIn. This saves time and is more convenient for employers.

  1. Creating a prototype quickly and economically enabled the client to launch an MVP in just a few months

  2. Intuitive UX and impressive graphic design

  3. Serving as a strategic tech partner for the project

Netguru has helped Barometa's founder in meetings with investors. Also having an elite development team working on the project proved to be very helpful in negotiations. 

The next step is to build the MVP and start driving revenue. 

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