Snagajob built a virtual alternative to make hiring events seamless and safe during the pandemic

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interviews facilitated

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hourly job postings for full-time, part-time and shift roles

Digital job boards have redefined the way workers get hired by pulling together an incredible range of opportunities across industries and locations with a simple search.

That reach lets businesses source a wide pool of applicants, but with that comes an influx of candidates who aren’t the right fit, leading to wasted time sorting, declining, and following up. And the headaches aren’t just on the part of businesses—applicants feel the strain, too.

“We know that candidates are tired of application black holes,” said Chris Wilson, Product Director at Snagajob. “We've all been through it: you apply to 10 jobs and never hear anything.”

The team behind Snagajob built a better way to bridge the gap between qualified candidates and the businesses looking to hire them. Rather than requiring users to aimlessly spend time applying to roles that may or may not be the right fit, they save time for employers and candidates alike by using data to categorize a user’s existing experience, identify how their skills could be useful in various roles, and ultimately connect them to the right opportunities with far less friction than a traditional application process.

This complex yet easy-to-use platform has helped hourly workers across the country find the right jobs for them. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Snagajob was already benefiting workers and businesses across the country—propelling them to be the top marketplace for hourly work—but under the constraints of the pandemic, their team needed innovative ways to safely facilitate the hiring process from start to finish.

In the midst of economic unrest and many laid-off workers in severe need of new opportunities, developers at Snagajob used Twilio Video to create a virtual platform that could effectively take the place of traditional mass hiring events and get qualified candidates working in the perfect roles. With more than 1,400 interviews in their beta phase and growing interest from their customers, Snagajob is leveraging the power of Twilio to build a lasting infrastructure for virtual hiring.

Post-pandemic hiring, driven by software

Many of the workers who turn to Snagajob’s platform have experience in industries like retail, restaurants, and hospitality, and range widely in age and digital literacy.

“Whether it’s someone hoping to take the next step in their career or someone 55-plus returning to the workforce, we’re trying to make tech easy,” Wilson said. “So that makes it a challenge in itself. You have folks really on the latest trends, and you have folks that might not even have a cellphone.”

Their users also vary in the kind of work they’re looking for, from full-time positions with benefits to part-time and gig opportunities to supplement other income. All of those different needs and priorities means Snagajob’s systems have to be intelligent, flexible, and easy-to-use for applicants. The same goes for the businesses and employers who rely on the service to find the right applicants, and whose ability to do so efficiently was impacted by the pandemic.

As restaurants and other service industries began to reopen and business started to pick back up, employers scrambled for new ways to get the staff they needed.

“Once we saw people were getting back to work,” said Senior Engineer Patrick Best, “there was an immediate recommendation that mass hiring events not going to be something people wanted to entertain in a post-COVID world.”

Snagajob could already create an initial connection between employer and candidate—but their teams saw an opportunity to carry those connections forward. According to Wilson, they started with a simple question: “How do we facilitate those hiring events in the virtual world?”

Creating connections virtually

When building a solution to solve the problem of pandemic-safe hiring events, Snagajob looked to their core mission for inspiration.

“If you boil it all down,” said David Holman, Snagajob’s Senior Director of Engineering, “we’re trying to drive natural connections between workers and employers as quickly and efficiently as possible.”

To achieve that goal in the age of COVID-19, they needed a way to facilitate interviews at scale that was simple and reliable—which brought them to Twilio. Snagajob had first partnered with Twilio to reach their users via SMS, recognizing that the core of customer engagement was increasingly moving to mobile. Upon exploring options for a video API to build out their new solution, they found success with Twilio.

“It was super easy to actually get up and running with a proof of concept,” Best said. With the right documentation and some tutorials from the Twilio Blog, their developers quickly got the solution running and were able to iterate further. “It was by far the fastest product or seen built here,” he said.

According to Holman, ease of integration into the existing platform was crucial to ensure ease of use for the applicants and employers they serve. “Looking at the landscape of other people who tried to do this as well, they were very disjointed experiences,” he said.

Many other solutions required external app downloads or installations, something that would slow down and complicate the process for users at every stage.

“The fact that we built everything in the product itself was a big win for us. They just use Snagajob—it’s all right there,” Holman said.

That holistic experience lets Snagajob host video interviews that seamlessly integrate with their existing platform and more Twilio services. “Everything is moving mobile,” Wilson said, a realization that led Snagajob to adopt SMS for everything from interview reminders for candidates to notifying employers when they have new applicants.

All of those tools help users get to what really matters: the face-to-face virtual interview. Once they’ve been approved as qualified for a role posted on Snagajob, they can schedule an interview at a hiring event scheduled by an employer. They’ll receive reminders via SMS and be given the opportunity to attend through video via their desktop or mobile browser, or simply by phone if necessary, enabling as many users as possible to gain access.

On the opposite end of the process, these events allow employers to set aside a single, convenient time to get their hiring done—saving precious time they need to effectively run their business.

“Employers have been super gung-ho, and continue to use it and find a lot of success with it,” Holman said. “I think we’ve had over 1,400 virtual interviews so far since we’ve launched.”

Defining a new way to hire

Today, Snagajob has expanded beyond the hiring events format to also allow one-off interviews scheduled by employers. “This product has allowed us to fully integrate video into the connection process,” Holman said.

Snagajob’s goal is to remove every possible obstacle and point of friction between candidates and employers, something the interconnected power of Twilio APIs helps them accomplish. “Hiring is basically done between two people, not systems,” Best said. “We want to get them to that point in the equation as fast as possible.”

Their video solution is a gateway to even more connections during the pandemic and beyond—allowing more people to find work when they need it, and allowing employers to get the help they need.

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