Proven, the Andreessen Horowitz-backed mobile app that allows job seekers to search and apply to postings on Craigslist, Simply Hired, and Beyond.com, is today launching a version of its mobile app for employers. With the new Proven Employer App for iOS and Android, companies can post their jobs to Craigslist, as well as search, sort through, and contact job applicants directly, via either a smartphone or tablet.
Previously, these features were available to employers on the web in a beta test, but the company’s native applications for iOS and Android had only been targeted toward job candidates, not businesses.
In the new app, employers will be able to sort through and filter resumes – a process that typically takes hours can now be done in far less time, even minutes. Candidates can be marked as “Yes,” “No,” and “Maybe,” and employers can then simply click to reach out the applicant from the app itself. Employers can also create, re-post and manage their job listings, and share potential hires with others at the company, who can create their own Proven login to view them.
This startup, for those unfamiliar, was originally founded in 2009, first targeting its service at connecting day laborers with contractors in need. But after failing to gain significant traction, it shifted focus to service workers instead, including restaurant servers or hosts/hostesses, baristas, house cleaners, retail workers, and more. Those in this demographic are often browsing for work on sites like Craigslist, not on the more professionally targeted LinkedIn.
In addition, for many, their smartphone is their primary – if not the only – computer they have access to in order to search and apply for jobs. For that reason, Proven has also taken steps to make the process easier on mobile, with support for resume and cover letter import from email, Dropbox, or computer (if first uploaded to Proven from the desktop). And if the applicant doesn’t have a resume, the app itself can actually walk users through the process of creating one right on their phone. This feature was rolled out in March, ahead of the startup’s raise of an additional $1 million in new funding from Andreessen Horowitz.
The app is solving a real problem with the job application process today. This activity is already exceedingly difficult, with employers often forcing applicants through painfully long websites where data has to be input by hand. And these sites are almost never mobile-optimized. That means the only people who even get to apply to some of the jobs out there are those who have a computer at home (or work, if they’re looking for a career change, perhaps).
By focusing on the service and hospitality industries, and primarily on Craigslist as its starting point, Proven can begin to build up an alternative job listings site of its own – the Monster or Careerbuilder of the smartphone era, where everything is built with the needs of the mobile user in mind. That doesn’t immediately solve the problem of employers and their wonky and horrible in-house technology, of course. But as the service grows – and assuming it can gain traction – the Proven network could eventually expand to reach those seeking jobs and hiring in other industries, as well.
To some extent, it already has. Earlier this year, the company said it was starting to see pick-up from workers seeking healthcare, administrative and clerical positions. At the time, Proven CEO Pablo Fuentes noted, “it’s useful for those in the service industries, but we think that this app can be helpful to a lot of different people. That’s the future for us – we’re working on simplifying the entire process.”
In July, the company reported growth has been consistent at 30 percent month-over-month, which drew the attention of investors, including Andreessen Horowitz, Kapor Capital, Founder Collective, Greylock Partners, and other angels. The Proven app for job seekers has grown to 400,000 downloads, and sees 150,000 monthly actives -still relatively small, however. But with the addition of the employer-facing application, the hope is now to get business owners on board by offering them better tools for making their Craigslist job postings. And with more jobs posted, Proven could gain more users.
(Now, about those “more jobs…” )