(Screenshot via App Store)
A Baltimore-area entrepreneur just launched an app that is designed to help people get hired.
1aJob? (pronounced “Wanna job?”) was fast-tracked for launch to be a resource for the many people who lost their jobs in the pandemic, said Sunny Patel, a Columbia-based cybersecurity pro who created the app. It is being made available completely for free.
“Our biggest goal is to help America back to work,” Patel said. “We want to help the community, and make sure everybody gets back to work safely.”
Hiring can be fully completed within the app, Patel said. It includes tools for jobseekers to post profiles with key info, and employers to post jobs. Patel said the application process is designed to take a few minutes, as opposed to answering lots of questions.
“Our thought process was, we want to make the jobseeker application much easier, and they can apply for any job within minutes,” Patel said of how the app came to be.
To post, both jobseekers and employers answer questions about the role, and skills. The app has a chat feature that allows jobseekers to ask questions.
It has a video interviewing feature, which was designed so that employers and jobseekers can still have a face-to-face meeting in a social distancing world. Then, an offer can also be extended and accepted (or rejected).
The idea for the app initially came about as Patel was talking to his father, who owns more than a dozen Dunkin’ Dounts franchises in the Columbia area. Patel’s father talked about struggles finding employees when there was a need to staff up for the holiday season, or after students returned to college.
For larger businesses, “there are big platforms and job apps out there, and they can find candidates,” Patel said. “But with small businesses, they cannot afford to spend money on other jobs sites.”
The idea was to create an app that allowed the hiring process to cast a net widely and complete the process quickly.
The app was already in the works before the pandemic. Seeing the job losses during COVID-19, Patel decided to speed up the launch with a team of about a dozen people. The features that they were developing could help to navigate a world of social distancing.
It also changed the trajectory of the business model. The initial idea was to target temporary and short-term work. Now that has been extended to part-time and full-time work, as well. Plans to make money were also set aside, and the app is now designed as a public service in a time of widespread unemployment.
“Now because of COVID, we have made it open for anyone,” Patel said.-30-
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