Why the world needed another job board

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Why launch a company that has been done by a million other entrepreneurs? That’s the first question I have for today’s guest.

Dylan Buckley is the founder of DirectlyApply, which matches job seekers and roles.

Dylan Buckley

Dylan Buckley


Dylan Buckley is the founder of DirectlyApply, which matches job seekers and roles.


Full Interview Transcript

Andrew: Hey, they’re freedom fighters. My name is Andrew Warner. I’m the founder of Mixergy, where I interview entrepreneurs for an audience of entrepreneurs who are building companies right now, as they’re listening to me. Well, maybe not this moment. I mean, to have this moment, they’re just walking their dog or.

Uh, trying to fall asleep and want a podcast to keep them company as they’re doing whatever they’re doing. But the idea is that I talked to entrepreneurs who are building real companies so that we can figure out what they’ve done, where their ideas come from, why it’s working, what’s not working and, and build our thing too.

Well, my first question for Dylan Buckley, once we, once I finished introducing him, is, does the world even need another job site? And basically that’s what he’s done. He’s created a site where. It’s a tech company. Yes. But it only does is match job seekers with roles and opportunities that are suited for them, which to me seems like a million different other companies that have done this before.

And frankly, as he and I have said before, we got started are way better funded than him. One of them seem to have bought up every fricking podcast app ad last year and the year before that. And I know that it costs a lot of money. Why do you get into this? Why is he still around? Why is he growing? How did he get as big as he did and what’s happening with this company?

That’s the goal here? Dylan Buckley is the creator of directly apply. It’s that, uh, site that I told you that will connect job seekers with roles. I invited them here to find out about the business and we can do it. Thanks to phenomenal sponsors. The first, if you have seen that others are investing in works of art and thought AB one day when I become a billionaire or a hundred plus millionaire.

Well, you don’t have to wait till then. Master works. We’ll make it accessible right now. And if you want to get started with them, go to master works.art/mixergy. And the second, if you’re doing email marketing, you need to know about send in blue and I’ll tell you later why you should go to start up with them@sendinblue.com slash Mixergy.

But first Dylan, there’s a question that you feel comfortable answering before I hit you with the hard one revenue. Give me a sense of where you are.

Dylan: Sure. So, uh, for this last financial year, we’ve just passed 3 million a year, us dollars. Uh, and that’s up, I think around 300% over the last 12 months.

Andrew: Profitable

Dylan: Yes. We’re incredibly Profitable

We, uh, operate at sort of 50 to 60% net. margins on

Andrew: to 60% net.

Dylan: Yes.

Andrew: are you not reinvesting that in the business then?

Dylan: Uh, we do, uh, we reinvest everything back

Andrew: So that’s gross margins.

Dylan: No. So there’s net after, after all I costs, uh, and then we just carry it folds the next year and that reinvests to, uh, you know, growth and That

Andrew: That means you have to pay taxes on it and then you get to redeploy it.

Dylan: We do, But uh, you know, part of our sort of, uh, you know, ideals of business is obviously taxes are a necessary evil. Um, you know, we sort of put sustainability and a real focus on profitability before anything else. Um, and you know, we can grow, you know, high growth business while paying taxes, uh, while remaining profitable.

And while looking after what our staff

Andrew: it feels like you could have spent that money. Like if you would’ve, if you would’ve done this thing, maybe half year into last year, you could have spent half the profits that half that you made in the first half. And then you’re nodding your head along this. It makes sense what I’m saying, but that’s not, you, you want to see profits.

You want to make sure the business is sustainable.

Dylan: Yeah, absolutely. And we also want to enjoy the business that we’re building. And, you know, I’ve spoken to many founders that have gone through that sort of, you know, high spend high growth journey. And most of them are pretty much. Uh, as you know, it’s incredibly stressful. You can, it can sometimes run away from you, uh, and that type of thing.

And for us, you know, we’re growing, you know, we’re really focusing on the technology that we’re building, that sort of what, you know, consumes us every day. Um, you know, and we make money while doing it. Um, and we don’t have the huge stresses of trying to run some sort of, you know, huge global marketing campaign that may or may not work or that type of thing.

And, you know, the way we, the way. Per our growth is focused on our technology, build a product that people love and then, you know, the profits and stuff flow from that.

Andrew: All right. The question that I wanted to ask you, as soon as I found out about your company is why does the world need another job site? There are millions of them. We all know them. I’m not going to insult you by listing all your competitors, but I think they’re going through people’s heads whenever they find out about you.

Why does the world need.

Dylan: Yeah. So it’s a really interesting space actually, because it’s one that. Well, there’s a lot of people playing in this game. The actual core of the business hasn’t changed in 25 years. So, you know, the first job site came out and around the mid nineties, it was monster.com. And, you know, they basically took the online classified as the classified section out of the newspaper and put them online, uh, and.

Speaking, frankly, like up until today, if you get rid of all the marketing buzzwords that people’s PR departments put out, it’s still essentially the same business. You know, you go to some of these huge businesses and you type in, you know, you’re looking for a particular job in a particular location. It shows you a list of potential matches.

You click on them, you know, and we’ve, we’ve taken the apply for access online as well, no longer. Do you phone up or walk in with your resume? Fill in a form and it gets sent off to a recruiter. to, uh, vent you. Um, when we look at.

Andrew: recruiter. So here’s what I did. I went to one of your competitors. I just typed in business development. They already knew I was in Austin, Texas. So they’ve prefilled that I hit search. And then I see, um, climb cap has someone in sales and business development and for remote work, there’s wait a day.

Is that a sponsored? No. Okay. And there’s business development manager at MGA home care, then there’s advantage solutions and it goes on. I thought that’s what I saw when I went to your site to apply directly

Dylan: Yeah, absolutely. And so, and when you click the apply button, you’ll go off to, uh, you know, that employers career sites to apply to

Andrew: and applied directly. It does that.

Dylan: on both our sides and on our competitors. So the, the function still remains the same, where we saw a real. Where there’s an issue and then play in the marketplace is that. it’s still the technology used to bring up those search results.

It’s still quite old school. Uh, it doesn’t learn. It. Doesn’t learn about you. It doesn’t learn about your likes and dislikes, that type of thing. So what we decided to do was on the surface, it still looks and feels like a job site, uh, like everybody else’s, but what we really wanted to look at was could we.

Learn enough about you through your behavior of searching for a job that we’d get enough insights that over time, our recommendations would become better and better to the point at which, you know, when you’re using our site, it just feels like magic that the jobs that you’re looking at, or that are suggested for you are actually jobs that you want. So we set out to build a. Uh, what looks like a traditional site on a technology base of using behavioral data to try and make those connections. Uh, and we were successful in doing that.

Andrew: Okay. I think I might’ve called it applied directly. It’s directly about.

Dylan: That’s the one.

Andrew: it bother you that I’ve made that mistake now? A couple of times in our conversation, that’s it bothers me.

Dylan: Yeah. Um, but what’s interesting is that, uh, in terms of the world of SEO and how people find outside size and that type of thing, uh, the two words are quite, uh, you know, you can type in either into Google and we do come up, uh, which is great. Um, but yeah, I mean, uh, we’d like, we’d like to, uh, there’s a few domain names that would like to capture at some point to sort of cement our position.

Um, but you know, people are resonating with our brand, which.

Andrew: All right, sure enough. I’m doing these searches. They do show up before this, you were working for a recruiter and the, the CEO of the company was an entrepreneurial type of person and encouraged you to be entrepreneurial. What did you create there?

Dylan: Yeah. So we, uh, within the recruitment firm, we sort of, I’m a self taught software engineer by background. So I always had an interest in technology and oversee the idea of combining recruitment with technology was quite appealing. Um, And so at the time, this was around sort of 20 16, 20 17, what was becoming all the rage within the recruitment technology sector was these sort of marketplaces for talent.

Uh, and some of them still exist today, but the business model has kind of failed or gone sideways on them. Uh, and basically how that work is, you know, you’d have a platform, uh, it usually be focused on niche. Uh, so quite often, sort of the tech roles were. Uh, so we actually did data professionals. So data scientists, data analysts, that type

Andrew: This was a website that your receipt, your CEO said, we need to build a tech recruitment firm, basically a website that offers a marketplace of data scientists.

Dylan: So we actually went to him with that

Andrew: Oh, you went to him. How did you know that the world needed data scientists website?

Dylan: Yeah. So we were actually working within finance, finance recruitment at the time financial services. Uh, and basically all of these firms were trying to get in on, you know, building their machine learning and AI teams to basically try and build predictive models, uh, uh, you know, uh, financial trading. Um, and so there was huge demands coming from the sectors

Andrew: Oh, they’re saying, where can we, can you help us find these data scientists? Okay. And so I guess if I wanted to find a developer, my sponsor lemon-lime has a marketplace of developers. The way it works is you contact them. They find someone from their marketplace, they make the match and they get a commission for making the match.

You said we should do the same type of thing for data scientists.

Dylan: Exactly. And I think the initial idea is like, if you can automate a lot of it, then you can bring down that cost price, you know? Recruitment services should cost between 15 to sort of 25% of the salary of the person you’re hiring. And so I guess the dream concept was that you would automate so much of that process.

You needed less humans involved and you could bring down that price.

Andrew: it. And if I understand right, Dylan, the way those marketplaces work is they’re different from job sites because they do some vetting and they do some matchmaking, but they’re different from recruiting firms because they don’t do a lot of vetting. A lot of matchmaking, a lot of walking people through the process.

Is that right?

Dylan: Yeah. I mean, I think that’s the idea in theory, what actually has happened in reality. And if you look at some of the big players, like hire.com, which has now gone, um, Vettery and various others, is that I realized that employers and both the job seekers, when you get involved, when You get started and I guess a more high touch process, they expect the high touch experience that you.

Andrew: You said when you get started with a more high touch process, what happens?

Dylan: At both job seekers and employers expect the full high touch products, then you get from recruitment. And so we’re loving marketplaces started to fall down is when they started to do a little bit, both sides of the market place, expected them to do all of it. Uh, and so, but then they’re trying to do it at a significantly reduced cost price.

And it just doesn’t work because you’re, you’re trying to do, you know, you end up doing the same work that our staffing firm would do. Uh, but you’re charging a fraction of the price.

Andrew: right. When you go to. Th that’s offering the best developers. You want them to find the best developer for you to take the time, to understand what you and your company need, and then to go out and find the right person, and then maybe bring a couple of people and make sure that it’s a good fit and right.

And then the same thing on the other side. So that happened to the marketplace that you started.

Dylan: Yeah. So we, uh, we were quite successful in that we already had a base of clients to start, uh, you know, turning the. So to speak, um, and we acquired more as well, which is great. Um, and the hard part with these marketplaces is always the talent side, right? The reason the employers sign up is because, you know, they don’t have enough inflow of talent coming in naturally.

Anyway, um, so yeah, we started running into the same, I mean, I think we were charging. It was like a flat fee. It was, it was in the hundreds of dollars for, for a place. It was really cheap. And you know, it, it just doesn’t scale because you’ve got the same number of people were having to do, uh, you know, the same amount of work as if they were going to get paid $20,000 for replacement.

Andrew: Got it. Okay. So, meanwhile though, you did do it, you built the site, you built the business, it was up and running. And you told me that you thought, well, if I’m doing this already in here, I might as well just go and do it for myself. I now know all the elements here. All right. And so what was the marketplace that you were going to create?

Dylan: Yeah.

So we, uh, When we left that business, we sort of, uh, came up with a few different ideas. And what we sort of settled on was, you know, when you’re trying to set up these marketplaces, what you’re looking for is somewhere where there’s a high demand for talent and there’s a shortage. You know, qualified candidates.

And when we looked at, we looked at literally every vertical you could think of. Um, and we came across accountancy and finance professionals, uh, you know, they as sort of as a trusted industries and creators of industry, um, you know, it’s a well-respected industry, um, but sort of the. Uh, the associations that sort of ran the industry was sort of a bit old school.

And there was, you know, there was a lot of, um, it just seemed like there was a good amount of innovation that could happen there. Um, also in the accountancy space, they were taking on tech rapidly. So all of the, you know, the zeros, the myo is the quick books and all that type of stuff. So the industry was adopting technology.

And so we thought, why couldn’t they adopt technology within their recruitment processes as well?

Andrew: All right. What year was this? Roughly? 2017.

Dylan: 2018.

Andrew: 2018. Okay. So you’re seeing that. Were you thinking about it for a company that I wanted to hire a full-time bookkeeper find out you were okay. Got it. And so you said let’s, let’s build that marketplace. The hard part about that marketplace is finding people because once you find people that the companies will start looking where the people are.

And so you came up with a clever way to get people, what was that?

Dylan: Yeah. So, uh, I guess two ways is that. know, you can do traditional advertising to try to get people on or the other place to look for people, uh, that?

both want to find a job or hire someone is to look at existing platforms out there and lots of job sites and that type of thing. Um,

we actually started in the UK market.

Uh, we’re now entirely focused in the U S but in the UK, uh, when you go to a job site, most of the job listings are actually for, uh, staffing agencies that are. Um, and so when you’re trying to do business development, trying to find employers to hop on this platform, you’re scrolling through page after page, after page of search results.

Uh, and you know, on a page as eight 20 results, only one of them is a perspective lead. Uh, so what we did is we actually built a little Chrome plugin, uh, which would hop on with these job sites and it would remove. Although staffing agency posts of what your lift was, is just a really nice view of, um, you know, people that direct companies that were hiring.

Uh, and So my co-founder will said, uh, well, we can get into that, but that’s sort of what became of the next product.

Andrew: So you’re saying, look, if someone were to go to LinkedIn and do a search for business development, they see a bunch of roles. And so I did that here and I see a lot. I see one at Google. I see one at, um, uh, zoom, et cetera. You’re saying that if I tap some of them on my iPad here and I hit apply, that’s not going to them.

It’s going to. Like a recruiting firm, that’s trying to recruit on their behalf. Okay. And job applicants hate that because.

Dylan: So it’s more that people want to get as close to the employer as possible. Um, you know, some particularly in the UK market, people who had quite bad experiences with staffing agencies, uh, you know, it’s not a. You know, it’s a, it’s an industry. That’s Got a lot of Cowboys in it. It’s not as not well-regulated at all.

Um, and So a lot of time people waste a lot of time, you know, they send them their resume. They never hear back. It never actually goes to the company or it’s sort of like a bait and switch tactic where they think they’re are one company. Then they get on the phone with the recruiter and the recruiters that she’s like, what about this other company that you’ve never.

Uh, and you focused and use all your applying to Google. Um, and so there becomes a lot of frustration and that is actually less prominent in the U S market. Uh, you know, Americans don’t seem to mind staffing agencies as much in the UK, which is where we started. Uh, it’s a real sort of problem.

Andrew: Got it. So you realize that’s a problem, you, and you knew also that you needed to figure out who the, who the real companies were that were hiring direct. And so you scraped it using a plugin, scraped LinkedIn put together. What was it just for finance people and bookkeepers that kind of.

Dylan: So I think like the very first version of.

Wallace, but then we realized, Hey, you can actually type in anything into those. You can

Andrew: Well,

Dylan: do this.

Andrew: let’s pause on the first version. So you created the first version. We then went and created a site, went to read it right, posted it on Reddit. And then the reaction was.

Dylan: Yeah. Sorry. This was, uh, this was sort of end of 2018. I think it was. November December, 2018. I no, sorry is actually every 2019. We launched us on Raiders and this was.

in the UK. This was the height of sort of Brexit time and that’s all anybody was talking about. And so we actually just posted it in a generic. You know, United Kingdom, uh, celebrate is, uh, probably the most popular in the UK, uh, and it rose to the top. And I think we had about, we had just over 10,000 users on the first day in the UK come visit the site. Um, and I mean, it’s all there. Now. There’s thousands of comments, uh, from people years later that, uh, just love the concept of the product back then.

Andrew: What was the site called? Was it,

Dylan: it was

Andrew: directly applied? Got it. And so you just put it up there for what?

Dylan: It was, I just found ready. I mean, we’d always sort of thought the stuff was cool and you know, we’re always exploring new ideas and why we thought why not?

Andrew: Okay. And so you said I’ve got a site where I only pulled out the jobs that are direct come and take a look. Response was great. It changed what you were thinking before we get into that. Let me say my first sponsor is master works. Do you know about masterworks, Dylan, Dylan? Here’s what you’re going to start to notice now, as the business keeps getting better and better, you’re going to start to notice that people who are several steps ahead of you entrepreneurs who’ve really made it will.

Yes, they’ll do some angel investing, but the next day doubt is they’ll start to put their money into. And often they won’t to put the art at home. They don’t want to risk it in their house. They want it to be protected. So why are they doing it? Because frankly art lasts a long time. It’s an investment vehicle.

If you think about it, the iPhone that you and I have in our pocket will be obsolete in a couple of years. Right? It’d be five. Let’s say. it survive the next 200 years. There aren’t a lot of companies that do meanwhile, art people still talk about van Gogh. People still talk about art that was around more than a hundred, 200, 300 years ago.

There’s something about this, the staying power of art, which is why so many successful rich entrepreneurs end up investing in art. The problem with art is you need a lot of money to buy. Just one piece. It’s almost like if I told you Dylan, you like. Yeah. You believe in the future of apple? Yeah. Well, to buy the company, you have to put down $2 trillion.

Go, I can’t do that. Right. We don’t do that for stock. We say, all right, you like apple, you believe in the future of it. Why don’t you just buy one share. We now you do fractional ownership. So you can have like a fraction of it. Well, no, one’s done that for art. It’s always been this thing that was limited to a few really wealthy people.

Well masterworks. And why does it have to be, why don’t we just turn it into the same kind of thing as this stock is? And so they did that. And so for a much, much, much, much, much smaller starting price you can get in and invest in one. And frankly you can invest in. Pieces of art. And the beauty of masterworks is that they have people on board who can help figure out what the right pieces are to invest in.

And then ultimately you make the decision yourself telling you say, I like, I like this, or I like that. And you put your money there. Usually if you want to go to masterworks, you need to request an invitation and so on. Um, they do maintain some exclusivity. Well, if you use my URL, you can get in and start to talk to somebody over there and see if it’s the right fit for you.

If you want to use my URL here it is. Master works.art that art masterworks.art/mixergy masterworks.art/mixergy. Go and sign up, have a call, explore and get the information. If it’s a good fit for you. I think you’re going to be really happy with the way that they treat you and with, uh, with this decision masterworks.art/mixergy.

Dylan: Super cool. I’m going to check that out.

Andrew: Thanks. I think you’re gonna like it. Are you into art at all?

Dylan: Not really. I it’s one of those things that you can appreciate it, but, um, I haven’t had a lot of time.

Andrew: I know, I do find though I’m surprised by how much of it. I know like how, I guess it’s, it’s not a lot, but what artists, what painters let’s talk about. I think with masterworks, what they haven’t had is someone like, like Shep Gordon who took chefs and made them into celebrities. They don’t have someone who today will take them and make them into celebrities and coach them in their career.

And like, yes, Instagram is turning some small. But you need more than that. Somebody who makes you admire them the way we only do when they’re dead. Like you think about basket, there’s a movie made about him. He’s really incredible. And the reason we all know about him, I think in popular culture is because there’s a movie made about him that showed his personality.

There’s nobody who does that. There’s nobody who shows them how to anyway. Um, but the few that we do know. I like, I see a few on the side here, like Keith Haring, I see a few others and, uh, obviously they broken through all right. Patrick Shep, Gordon for art. That would be pretty interesting. Right.

Dylan: Definitely. Yes. Ma’am.

Andrew: All right.

Let’s continue now with your story. So you have this and you have a mindblowing realization. Maybe you go beyond just, um, a marketplace for finance people, right.

Dylan: Yeah, exactly.

Andrew: And the next idea, then the next version of it as well.

Dylan: Yeah. So I think it’s quite a while ago now, but I think we very quickly sort of shut down the marketplace, which you already, already going to be running for about six months or so we were making revenue. It was doing really well. It was growing. Uh, but sort of when you sort of just take a step back and do a quick.

Analysis the market potential. Uh, you look at Alex giant competitors, like you say, buying up every podcast slot. So they could, and you’re like, ah, some serious money to be made here. And there’s obviously some serious market potential. Um, and so, you know, we had an angel investor on board at that point, so we sort of went to them and said, what do you think of this?

And, you know, they’ve been amazing throughout the whole process and said, yes, we agree. This looks great and promising. Moving on to the next step. Um, and so basically I think almost immediately, we sort of got to work on, you know, thinking about how we could build a job site and what, why it would be different.

You know, there’s sort of many out there. Uh, but I think part of our thinking was there are so many out there, but why did 10,000 people come to our site in the first day? Uh, you know, there is something that the rest of the industry is missing here and what they were missing was this ability to itch.

Make that connection between, you know, what your job search was and what you end up applying to. Um, you know, there’s so many options, you know, if you type in business development and Austin, Texas, there’s going to be thousands of job results there. Uh, but you know, technically, you know, number 999 might be the best job for you.

Uh, and how do we, how do we figure that out and how do we get it to you? And so we just got to work on figuring that out, uh, while at the same time, trying to figure out how this thing was going to make money.

Andrew: I’m looking at that original Reddit post, it only got 32 upvotes and that. Am I looking at the wrong one.

Dylan: Yeah, I think so.

Andrew: Okay. All right. Um, I guess the one I’m looking at is in UK jobs and maybe there’s another one that you put up there. All right. I thought, wow, can you really get that many hits from so few people? All right.

So. Where was the money going to come from? I saw the post that I mentioned, it said we do have some recruiters on the site. And then I thought you were going to say, that’s how we pay the bills, but no, he said report the hunt. We’ll get them off the site. Where was the money coming from, are going to come from in the beginning?

Dylan: Yeah. So initially, um, we didn’t really have a sense of what we kind of thought we’re to do is with sort of build this aggregation network, Uh,

of all these jobs from all these different sites, we would, Y out filter to them, have an amazing experience. Always people would come and then we’d go to direct companies and say, Hey, do you want to sponsor a post?

And sort of. Oh, my hands on the thing that was kind of our initial idea, you know, we thought around things like, you know, you could have like a glass door style page about your company and that type of thing. yeah.

And what we actually found out was that, uh, there’s entire network of different job sites.

Uh, they’re actually buy and sell traffic from each other. So if you Andrew have your own job sites and you’re focusing on, you know, uh, take provisionals and I have my size and I don’t have those jobs, we could do like a sheer agreement where, you know, your jobs will go, like my jobs would go on your site and we pay each other for the traffic that we shift.

And so basically, because we got a lot of attention early on, we had all these little job sites and big, you know, some of the big players that we spoke about earlier, uh, reaching out to us saying, Hey, we’ll pay you every time you’ve seen the user to us. Uh, and that was kind of like, okay, we could do that.

So we’d get inventory really easily if we wouldn’t have to scrape sites and got to get

Andrew: Because they would give you their own, they would give you their inventory. And all you have to do is filter out the ones that don’t work for you. Okay.

Dylan: Exactly. And then every time we seem to use it to them, uh, they’d pay us. Uh, and so that was pretty cool. Uh, and so we booked started to build out the systems to take in those jobs and, uh, filter them out before.

Andrew: Okay. All right. And so is that today still where your revenue’s coming from?

Dylan: So the majority of our revenue now comes directly from employers or employers, recruitment marketing agencies. So if you’re a big employer, you’re not going round to individual publishers to post your jobs online, you go to a marketing agency that specializes in recruitment, media buying, uh, and then you guys with us and distribute it.

So we work with, um, almost every. Recruitment marketing agency in north America now. Uh, and so they will, uh, post inventory on our site, uh, on behalf of their clients.

Andrew: All right. So now I get a sense now of where you’re getting the jobs. This is already what’s being listed on other platforms and you’re not scraping anymore.

Dylan: No,

Andrew: It’s not from scraping it’s, you’re getting it from the other platforms because they’re giving it to you. You just need to organize it and then make the site intelligent enough so that you’re passing the right job to the right applicant.

Okay. We’ll get back to that in a second. I see where the revenue’s coming from. What about the, the, uh, audience, the, the, the Dopsie.

Dylan: Yeah, so we’re achieved. This is sort of where we broke away from what everyone else in our industry does. So I mentioned that people buy and sell traffic from each other. Uh, we only sell, so we don’t buy traffic from anyone else. Uh, and the reason that’s important to. The way in which we’re paid initially was for every click.

Um, we’ve now evolved that relationship with our clients and the industry’s evolving towards this as well, where we only get paid for a successful application. So a user has to go through the recruitment, the application, or he says when they complete that, then. Uh, paid a nominal amount for that completed application.

Uh, and so what that means is that the quality, if you want to make it, and you know, what a lot of our competitors do is, are still focusing on clicks. And for example, they might get 20 cents for every click they send out. So their entire business is around. How do we maximize the number of clicks that we send to the site for better or for worse?

Um, and to put some. The matrix and to place SIA, when you just, when you operate in sort of that click arbitrage game, you know, that that basically buying a collect for 15 cents, selling it for 20 cents. And they just keep doing that over and over and over again, to try and make a little margin. Uh, if you seen, basically they get a conversion rates, which is how many of those people were actually apply to the job of around three to 4%.

So for every a hundred clicks around three to four, applicants will come out the end of that for us. You know, as a small sites with limited money, we can’t afford to buy in millions of users every month. So what we had to do instead was focused on building an experience that people would actually come back and keep using us multiple times over.

Uh, and so we did that and then we got our clients to pay. For every conversion for every applicant they received. So what we’re able to do through making an amazing experience was getting a conversion rate of around 42%. So for every a hundred clicks that we send, we get around 42 completed applications. Which is as far as over 10 X, what the rest of the industry achieve. Uh, and because, you know, the numbers kind of speak for themselves because they experience works well for people because people will actually find the job they’re looking for. Uh, we’re able to, uh, retain users. They keep coming back. They do tell other people about them, about the sites, uh, and we’ve just grown organically.

Um, and we’re narrow just over a million monthly unique.

Andrew: I look to see if you’re getting traffic from somewhere. It seems like you’re not, it seems like it’s all search and referral, meaning director direct type. And that’s it.

Dylan: Yeah.

Andrew: The little bit of social that I see you do at all is only LinkedIn.

Dylan: Yeah. And most of that is kind of, um, uh, you know, sort of personal pages and that type of thing. And people click through it.

Andrew: Are you good at SEO? Doesn’t seem like you’re especially good at it.

Dylan: Yeah, I think we’ve, you know, that’s a big part of our business, you know, there’s kind of two core parts to our business. The first is sort of our job search matching tech. Uh, and the second part is, uh, you know, the ACR pop because it’s critical to where we

Andrew: So, what are you doing for SEO? I guess I’m glad I asked. I don’t see your SEO strategy.

Dylan: Yeah. So this is kind of probably more simple than people make it out to be for us. It’s having, you know, your underlying tick has to be really good. You, aside has to be fast, responsive content has to be up to date. Content has to be. That’s a big pot. The second pot is you’ve actually got to provide, or we believe you’ve got to provide value to your users.

So if you just taken a job posts or any sort of content, and you just display it as is to the user, you’re not adding any value to their experience. Uh, so, you know, from an SEO perspective, you’re not seen as that valuable compared to the thousands of other sites. Um, so what’s critical drought strategy.

And when it comes into matching people with jobs as well, is we import around 10 million jobs. Our system looks at and we applied between 50 to 60 different processes on every single job. Uh, so we do everything from trying to extract salaries, uh, bonuses, benefits. Um, we look at working hours and if the job offers remote work, um, we try and figure out exactly what building the jobs office is.

And, uh, and we then display this information to users sort of extrapolating, uh, the data that we’ve got there.

Andrew: Hmm. What’s a job where I can see that I’ve, I’ve looked for that because I did see that one of the types of searches that leads over to directly apply is questions about salary. All right. Where people are typing into Google, a company name, and then salary to get a sense of what they could expect to get paid.

But when I go to your site, I don’t, I don’t know what to look for, where I can see an example of that kind of rich content.

Dylan: Yeah. So on any sort of job posts, uh, if, if we can find the salary, we’ll extract it. Um, we also have a salary section where you can find salary data on particular job

Andrew: Oh, there it is at the very top. There’s a whole section called salaries. Got it. So I need to, I guess, log in in order to uncover the salary.

Dylan: It’s all completely open. So you should just get to click on anything in there and we’ll

Andrew: Oh, got it. Okay. Let’s look at bookkeeper. Uh, how much do book Coopers earn in the United States? 2308. Got it. Okay. are the states and what they pay.

Dylan: And so we pull, we extract all this from real job posts. Uh, and so it gives a really good sense, um, and has been particularly interesting over the last couple of years because we see trends as the economy grows and shrinks and moving into pandemics and all that type of thing we see in real time of what occurs to this, um,

Andrew: I saw that where you were writing trends, articles somewhere. I don’t know if you still do that. Do you still do.

Dylan: Uh, we do occasionally. Uh it’s uh, um, it’s one of those things that if there’s something particularly interesting to talk about, we will.

Andrew: Oh, there, it is like, there’s one about the future of remote working and right. I should say the second sponsor is a company called send in blue. I was not sure, how do I talk up sending blue? There’s so many email marketing companies. And then as I had a private conversation with someone who I interviewed.

He said that one of the problems that he had was that email marketing is expensive. And I said, come on. It’s not that expensive. And he said, yes, it is. I said, but you you’re making enough money. He goes, yes, it’s true. But as it builds up, especially if you’re working with clients, you can see the price go up is their email list goes up.

And so frankly, between you and me, as I was talking about him, I said, let me talk about in one of my ad spots, let me talk about that. And boy did that resonate with my guests, with my audience. And so the point is this, what I’m noticing is that there are a lot of people who will obviously see the value of email marketing.

So they’ll sign up for maybe one of the free services, one of the services that they heard about somewhere, and then they’re in. And when they get started, they say it’s pretty inexpensive. And now I have email marketing and it just works old technology. Of course I’m not being charged much. And maybe they look at that slider where you get to slide over and see how much it’s going to cost.

If you have what a 10,000 email list, 50, a hundred thousand, a million, whatever. And they look at it and says, ah, I’ll deal with that problem later on. That’d be a good problem to have when it’s expensive, but they don’t think about it. Meanwhile, Email does start to build because people sign up for email list and then as they build up, even people who unsubscribed some emails, services still count them as subscribers and you have to pay for them too.

And so these list owners pay a lot of money. And when they got started, they were told you owned your list. You can take it to any other service provider they realize, well, yeah, technically I could, but then people who maybe weren’t getting my email will start getting my email. Forget that they signed up two years ago and they’ll hit the spam button and then I’ll, I’ll be considered a spammer or it’s built into their site where all their forms are.

They won’t, they won’t have the patients the time and they won’t be able to shift away. And so they’re stuck. Well experienced entrepreneurs know about that, and they do not want to get stuck and they want a service that has all the features, marketing automation, tagging everything that you’re looking for in email marketing, and we’ll stay inexpensive.

Even as the business grows. If you look up, send in blue, look at how much funding they’ve had, look at how successful the business is, look at how big their customers are. Look it up and every service that you want do what I did before I interviewed someone who sold his company to them. You will see how, how much of a Bulletproof company.

you’ll appreciate that. One of the big things that they have to offer is their price starts out low and stays low. If you want to get started with sending blue right now, I’ve got a special offer for you. If you go to send in blue.com/mixergy, you’re going to get a lower price than everyone else does.

And you get a good service, just go check them out. And of course recommend them to your friends who are getting into email marketing, send in blue.com/mixergy. You guys have a email marketing strategy, Dylan.

Dylan: Interestingly, we actually do a lot more SMS than we do email. Um, so in our space that email is kind of over done and done very poorly. Uh, it was experienced with it is pretty poor. So. What we do is we focus on sort of, you know, uh, high, uh, high barriers to entry. So, you know, people really wants to sign up for what they’re getting and we do things like, um, you know, if you’re on a job and you’re not quite ready to apply to it, now you can click, you know, remind me to apply.

And a time and we’ll send you a message and remind you to apply. And that has amazing conversions. And, you know, people come and use our site. Uh, we don’t need to sort of spam them with stuff that’s quite unique to us. Um, we probably should have a, uh, a general marketing strategy there around it,

Andrew: I think that makes sense, but by the way, I should say, come back to the sponsor, send them blue, does chat, marketing. They do SMS marketing. It’s all in there. I don’t want to, I guess I’m emphasizing email, but I should be saying it’s a much broader collection of tools. It’s all the, the marketing tools that you, that you need to reach your audience.

Um, what about the community? I noticed that next to a lot of the job pages, there’s a community button where I guess you could talk about these jobs and for a lot of, um, positions, especially ones that are lower paid, where there there’s well, where, where it’s lower paid and where you’re not a full-time employee.

There’s a question about what’s the treatment. Like how, what are the tips like and all that. And I could understand people talking about. How active is that community. And I don’t see that community conversation on the pages for those jobs.

Dylan: Yeah. So saying that essentially a concept that we came up with a while ago, and it’s something that we want to better integrate into. You know, if you’re looking at a particular company or a type of job, it would surface conversations around. That particular job or company or that type of thing. Um, it’s probably the part of outside that needs a bit more love compared to, you know, we really do focus on the core job matching and the data extraction stuff.

Um, but you know, uh, w in the conversations that do happen. It’s definitely quite rich and people do find it useful. Um, also from an SEO perspective, you know, that user generated content is great. Um, we, you know, I think that’s definitely sort of, one of our plans for the next couple of months is to really, you know, enhance the use of that to sort of help people with their job search because it is a powerful thing.

Andrew: Where, what do you do to have that job matching?

Dylan: Yeah. So in terms of matching, so how it’s traditionally done is simple, just sort of Boolean logic, uh, and searching. So, uh, so you know, you type in, you know, business development and also it takes us, it sort of local. Business development relate to sort of keywords finds a location, and that’s basically it, what our sort of hypothesis was.

And this is going back to the beginning is, could you. And sort of coming back to the marketplace idea, what a lot of people try to do is okay. If we’ve got a user to spend 10 minutes telling us everything about their life and their career ambitions, and we got all of this data, would that then help us do matching?

And the answer is yes, but most people don’t want to spend 10 minutes, their life giving you their life story for something, for some outcome that they may or may not. Like, uh, or they may not get the results or whatever. So people are quite hesitant to do that. Um,

so what we thought is could we do it sort of based on their behavior.

So as you’re clicking around the site and you’re looking at different jobs, we’re constantly analyzing what you’re doing and your behavior. And then that feeds back into a model, which then helps us predict jobs in the. So an example could be, you know, and we look at, uh, I think it’s around four dozen different metrics.

So how long you look at a job, what type of companies you’re looking at? Uh, what part of the job description are you’re looking at? Do you look at the benefits section or the requirements section or the location section? Are you looking at jobs with a particular salary or you only clicking on jobs that offer remote work.

And because we go through this extraction process on all these jobs, before they go on our site, we’re able to figure out what metrics are most important to you. And then as you keep using the sites, you know, our suggestions just get better and better and better, uh, to a point at which we can get those crazy high conversion rates I was talking about earlier because the jobs just match.

Uh, and it’s. It’s a system that doesn’t involve you typing in lots of stuff. It’s just based on your real behavior of session for a job. Um, and I believe we’re one of the only companies to do it like this in job search.

Andrew: I did notice it when I went to one job listing and then I hit the back arrow on my browser immediately. I got. Uh, dialog box that says other jobs you might like. So obviously I went to that one. I didn’t like it didn’t want to apply, came back here and you’re giving me a couple of others that are, uh,

Dylan: the idea is, is that we’ll keep sort of updating the more searching you do, and they just get better and better and better. And it’s often things that. You know, it is around things like salaries and that type of thing. So we figured out, you know, we could ask you as a user, into your design celery, or we know from you just clicking on a few jobs, we can get a pretty good guess with very good accuracy, what salaries you’re looking for.

And it removes that friction for the job seeker. Uh, and people just describe it as kind of working like magic, uh, which is why they come back, because they’re just kind of surprised that the results that they see, uh, magically match, what.

Andrew: All right. The site is back up. It was up pretty quickly afterwards. How many people on the team and who’s handling that.

Dylan: Yeah. So there’s six of us. Um, five of us are engineers, uh, and actually to try and solve some of these sort of peaks in traffic. We’re actually about to open up a, uh, engineering office in New Zealand, uh, which is. I’m from, uh, and also one of our senior engineers, um, is from, uh, so it’s home for us and for the time zones, it’s a good, uh, you know, while we’re asleep, they’re awake type of thing.

So it’s really cool. Um, and then yeah, some somebody on the team would have just picked up that error and fixed that one up.

Andrew: All right. It must feel good to have this up. I know that one of the challenges as we’ve talked before is that you are underfunded, but you do not want to take more funding, huh?

Dylan: No, not at all.

Andrew: That’s it just want to be profitable.

Dylan: Yeah. Um, that that’s all sort of Goggle on business. Not So, much, you’ve got a lifestyle business, but you know, to really just sort of enjoy what we do and focus on, you know, building product and building tech and actually helping people, you know, we’re in this really cool position where, you know, Tens of thousands of people use outside every day to find jobs.

Uh, and, uh, we don’t have to worry about pleasing investors or, you know, stupid growth for the sake of growth. And, you know, we don’t have to do anything untoward towards our users around employers to get that growth. Uh, we can do it entirely on our own terms and, you know, we love that.

Andrew: So, what do you do with your extra time since you’re not sweating? Every detail? Not at bot. Not that you’re not sweating details since you’re not trying to triple and grow really fast every week.

Dylan: I literally have very little free time.

Andrew: That’s it? So you’re still working just as hard,

but you don’t have this stress. It seems like you’re saying.

Dylan: I think it’s different types of stresses. So, you know, I, you know, I spend all of my day and nights thinking about product and you know, how we can genuinely make a better product for our users. Um, I don’t have to think about how am I going to get a graph to show X percent growth this month, or, you know, anything like that.



Andrew: How do you do that? How do you talk to your customers? Like, what do you do to understand that this is what they’re looking for? And you’ve got a marketplace. You need to do that with both sides. Right? What do you

Dylan: Yeah. Yeah. So for the, uh, for the, uh, for the job seeker side of the equation, uh, that’s incredibly data driven because we can make a product change or an algorithm change and we can see within minutes how, uh, How that impacts their search, uh, in a positive way or a negative way. And we have really good at analyzing the data on that.

Um, and we’re constantly pushing out updates to that. Uh, from the employer side, you know, every company wants to see more candidates, qualified candidates in their inbox for jobs. Um, and they’re pretty vocal to us, uh, when things are going right. And when things are. Um, and more often than not, they go, right.

Uh, you know, our sort of biggest problem is they just want more volume from us than, uh, we can provide. But again, we always sort of say to them, you know, we’re always only going to send you high quality rather than, you know, an inbox full of less high quality stuff. Um, and that feedback loops great. Um, working with some of these large recruitment marketing agencies, uh, you know, one agency can deal with.

Uh, a good chunk of the fortune 500. Uh, so they have a really good sense as to what their clients are looking for across sort of corporate America. Uh, and we’re able to react to the demands in near real time. Uh, and that’s really cool about being a small, nimble team as well. You know, we don’t have to go through multiple layers of bureaucracy and meetings and stuff to make changes.

You know, a client can request something mid day and it’ll be shipped by 3:00 PM.

Andrew: It’s amazing how far you’ve come from that one Reddit post it’s like a company built out of, out of a Reddit post. I did find that post and, uh, yeah, it definitely had more up votes. It’s in the R slash United Kingdom subreddit, it’s got 3000, 300 upvotes and a lot of action in the chat and including people just kind of making fun of the recruiters that they saw on other sites.

I think the top vote was you said, uh, we don’t have any recruiters or scams and the top, uh, comment was, are there any jobs left after the recruiter?

All right. Thanks so much for being on here@thesiteforpeoplewanttocheckitoutisdirectlyapplied.com. And I want to thanks to sponsors who made this interview happen. The first, if you’re looking to consider are actually ready to make an investment in art, check out master works.art/mixergy. And second, when you’re doing email marketing or SMS or chat.

Basically the whole collection of direct to your users, a software it’s available@sendinblue.com slash Mixergy. Send in blue.com/mixergy. Dylan. Good to have you here.

Dylan: Yeah. Thank you so much,

Andrew: Thanks Thanks everyone.

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