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You’re Wantedly: A new way to hire the right people

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These days it’s not enough to simply place a job ad and hope you’ll find the perfect candidate to fill the position. In today’s business environment, companies need to be more actively involved in the process.

Faced with a new set of challenges, modern-day recruiters must be proactive to succeed. As employees become used to the idea of a more fluid career, younger people especially are shifting away from job security as they realise that there is no such thing as a job for life.

by Simon Gillow

theDesk Causeway Bay Wantedly
The Wantedly Hong Kong team at theDesk One Hysan Avenue — (left) Tom, Justin, Tiffany and Bradford.

Out with the old

In this environment, traditional recruitment practices no longer seem fit for purpose. Competition from exciting startups, a shrinking talent pool and the rise of social media such as LinkedIn give greater power to people who look for more from their work than a steady income. These days, we’re more in control of our working life and less content with the idea of a regular, corporate nine-to-five job.

One company, Wantedly, is on a mission to meet the needs of modern workers and companies. This innovative social recruitment platform set up in Japan seven years ago with the aim of helping people to connect with companies based on their passion and motivation.

Hiring day at theDesk

Earlier in February, theDesk collaborated with Wantedly by using their platform and support to organise its recent Hiring Day event. As a fast-growing company, theDesk is constantly on the lookout for talented staff to join the team in a variety of roles.

The event had a relaxed atmosphere with more than 40 attendees mingling with theDesk team members, touring the space and relaxing over a few drinks. The Wantedly team took care of the organisation and promoted through their networks.

“You can write anything on a CV and people could believe it. When you meet them in real life, it can be another experience entirely,” said Country Manager Bradford Chan. “An open hiring event brings out the best in people and allows people who are interested to stand out and make the right impression from the start.”

theDesk Causeway Bay Wantedly
Attendees at theDesk Hiring Day event held earlier in February.

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A platform for change

Wantedly’s services couldn’t be easier to understand. People only need to visit the site and create a profile. You can then check out the various companies who are hiring staff. They offer a range of apps, including an amazingly accurate business card scanner.

However, instead of a traditional interview process, the company focus on finding a 360-degree fit. “The expectation of meeting through Wantedly is a casual interaction,” explained Tom Chan, Business Development Lead. “Our process is about making sure you get to know each other, and that the candidate knows the team. People connect when they can imagine themselves working together.”

“In Hong Kong, people typically look for work on traditional platforms, such as JobsDB,” Tom said. “All a candidate usually sees is the job title and a description. There’s barely any mention of what makes the company unique or attractive.”

Telling stories

“We help companies tell their side of the story,” said Bradford.

“Job seekers want to know more about the company beyond its salary package. It gives them a better idea of whether the company is the right fit for them or whether they’d fit in the team.”

Wantedly strives to make that the main driving force for people to proactively request and make a visit to a company.

Tom explained, “Our main concern is helping clients improve their job and company profiles to really attract candidates. At Wantedly, we’ve all been brought up in the digital era. Our team is wide open to new ideas.”

“For paying clients, we offer content and copywriting services. We’ll talk with them, get to know their unique qualities and help them communicate those to the right audience. Not every company knows how to tell their story in a compelling way. We can help with that.”

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The end of the interview?

The rationale is clear. It can be a waste of time, energy and resources hiring people the traditional way. Traditional interviews don’t allow either party to connect on a more personal level.

But is a large group hiring event the only way to go? “It doesn’t need to be, It can take many forms,” said Tom. “It depends on the company’s needs, size and team culture.”

“It could be a group visit where you meet a whole group in a short space of time. Or it could be only seeing a few people, but you know them better. The main thing is to give people to connect on an interpersonal level. It goes both ways, it’s about the company choosing the candidate and the candidate choosing the company.”

“If we don’t feel passionate, we have to get up every morning and do something that, in a sense, is wasting our time.”

theDesk Causeway Bay Wantedly
Wantedly’s Country Manager, Bradford Chan, sharing the new phase of recruitment at theDesk One Hysan Avenue.

Work drives passion

The four-member team are proof of the Wantedly approach. “I’ve changed my career totally,” said Tiffany Cheung, Client Success Lead. With a background in the fashion industry, she reached a point where she didn’t want to sit in front of a desk all day. “I wanted to do something that would have a positive impact on people. I found the website almost by accident, took a look and got to meet them to find out more.”

Justin Lai runs marketing for Wantedly. “I worked at an advertising agency,” said Justin. “For me, working for a traditional agency became quite tedious. It’s highly structured and process driven. Working in a startup environment means you get to do things first and you learn as you go by looking at the data.

Tom, who oversees business development, was a medical sales rep before joining. “It was challenging. After two years it took its toll. I enjoy selling but I needed another environment. And I’ve found that our startup mentality really suits me.

Country Manager, Bradford, has worked in talent acquisition, recruitment and HR his whole career. After becoming one of LinkedIn’s earliest employees in Hong Kong, he was looking for new challenges.”I wanted to test myself. And I found that I loved building something from scratch.

What’s clear about this team is that they exemplify how younger workers increasingly differ from their older counterparts. They are the products of a shift in the way people engage with companies and what they look for in their ideal job. For this team, there have been some radical changes in career direction. And they are thriving in a startup environment.

“There’s no magic bullet to getting the right people. But people are a company’s biggest asset. You have to invest time and effort to find the right candidates.”

The future of recruitment

theDesk Causeway Bay
theDesk Chief Creative Officer Oscar Venhuis speaking to a group of young adults seeking new opportunities.

What features are the company planning? “Soon, we’re introducing a Scout Function. Right now, job candidates chose the company. Our next step is to introduce a system for companies to look through the database, and filter by profile. This means they can directly reach out to people who best fit their needs. It’s a service we’re excited to offer.”

And as technology advances, Wantedly is looking at how to enhance their services and the overall client experience.

“There’s a lot of buzz around artificial intelligence and virtual reality across the region,” says Bradford. “Just imagine if a candidate doesn’t need to physically visit a company’s office anymore. Just put on glasses or goggle and you can get a glimpse from your own home.”

Virtual visits are only one possibility, but it demonstrates how this high energy startup is hoping to help people break away from the traditional mindset. “We’re working hard to help businesses and job seekers see how much social recruitment can breathe life into the hiring process.”

“We cater towards a younger demographic because we know that people our age have a whole new way to approach work. We’re more about building a community. To gain knowledge. To network.”

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