Ben Hurley Reporter

Ben covers the property industry and has a keen interest in entrepreneurship and travel writing. He speaks Mandarin and previously covered housing and urban affairs for The Australian Financial Review.

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Social recruitment start-up Yolpme rewards referees

Published 10 April 2013 11:57, Updated 16 May 2013 11:22

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Social recruitment start-up Yolpme rewards referees

Co-founder of social recruitment group Yolpme, Roland Irwin. The company boasts clients including Toyota, Swiss Vitamins, Sitback, S2M and Aegis Media. Photo: Yolpme

Have you seen a job advertised and known someone who would be perfect for the role? You could make up to $6000 for referring them if social recruitment start-up Yolpme gets off the ground.

The start-up is the latest attempting to transform the recruitment space. Founded last year, Yolpme facilitates word-of-mouth recruiting via social media. It has hosted jobs from 45 companies including Toyota, Swiss Vitamins, Sitback, S2M and Aegis Media. If a recommendation is successful, the recommender pockets the payment that otherwise would have gone to a recruitment firm.

Co-founder Roland Irwin says some recruitment firms play a valuable role in sourcing and vetting talent but it is the lazy recruiters he hopes to disrupt.

“What we’ve found and what our perception of the market tells us is there is not the right value being received from some recruiters who charge 10 to 18 per cent of the first year salary,” Irwin says, “so that by its very nature allows an opportunity for someone else to come in and find a new model to disrupt that market.”

He says personal referrals are the best way to attract the top talent.

“All findings and reports suggest word-of-mouth marketing is industry-renowned for the best way to make the connection point with the right person,” Irwin says. “Those people that come through referrals, they tend to be the guys that last at the companies longer and they work harder.”

Around $80,000 in payments are offered on the site including one for $6000 – ironically from S2M Recruitment for a senior recruiter. The site’s biggest payment was $1000 for a digital marketing manager role.

The online conversation about recruiting has taken off in recent years, particularly following the growth of LinkedIn and other paid accounts that candidates use to hunt for jobs and recruiters use to poach candidates from other firms.

Another startup entering the space is SpotJobs, a website which specialises in entry-level jobs in companies like Coles and Woolworths and food chains such as Red Rooster and Pizza Hut.

Since its beta launch on October 31, it has facilitated more than 100,000 job applications and 10,000 advertisements from big brands.

“We’re accumulating job seekers at a rate of about 1500 a day so it equates to about 60,000 signed up users on our database,” says SpotJobs co-founder Lewis Romano.

Advertisers pay $50 to list jobs, although at the moment SpotJobs has a half-price special. It is not profitable yet but Romano hopes it will be by the middle of this year.

It has also aligned itself with training providers and will shortly start facilitating training courses through its SpotEd education department.