Millennials currently make up 45 percent of today’s global workforce and unlike the previous generations, it is estimated that over the course of their working lives they will have about 15-20 jobs. While some employees move constantly for better financial prospects, others may move to go after more challenging roles or because they may have taken up the wrong job.
Ending up in a wrong job or company is painful and frustrating for both companies and professionals. In most cases youth lack experience and are not in a position to make informed choices about the most suited job roles for them. Mumbai-based TapWisdom aims to empower youth to make more informed career decisions by helping them gather inputs from peers and track companies they aspire to work at.
TapWisdom is a peer-to-peer career advice platform helping job seekers evaluate offers by connecting with current and ex-employees of companies. These ‘advisors’ share their feedback and inputs to help job seekers reach an informed decision.
Through TapWisdom, users can also follow companies they are interested in, get the latest news and read reviews about the companies. Job seekers can also request advisors to evaluate one or more job offers and do it anonymously using an avatar.
TapWisdom was founded in June 2015 by Fisher Laishram, Joseph Awungshi and Nikesh Masiwal. The startup was born out of the problems and frustrating experiences the founders faced in their own careers. After talking to many professionals, they soon realised that it was a common problem faced by almost all professionals. According to a LinkedIn report, almost 72 percent of millennials use their smartphones to research and gain job and company insights. Based on that insight, they decided to work on a mobile app solution for this pain point.
Fisher, the CEO at TapWisdom, has a background in product and digital marketing and holds a Master's degree from Stevens Institute of Technology, New Jersey. He was among the first 10 employees of Sprinklr, New York, an enterprise social media management company, and has also worked at Capgemini to help set them up their ‘Expert Connect’ programme. Prior to TapWisdom, he co-founded Mobimp, which failed but became profitable after pivoting to a cloud-based school management software.
Joseph, the COO at TapWisdom, has 10 years of experience in survey programming and data analytics. He is the co-founder of Inginit, a data analytics company, which has been running for the last four years and is currently profitable serving US and European clients. Nikesh leads mobile engineering at TapWisdom. He was an early employee at Firefish Inc, the first developer in Favcy.com, and was also involved with Discountkar.de. He pursued research in mobile engineering with the Science and Information(SAI) Organisation.
TapWisdom currently consists of a team of five. After extensive beta testing for a few months, TapWisdom went live to the public in December 2015 and recently launched a new update with more features.
The startup is currently bootstrapped and is in the process of raising funds. Currently focussed on job seekers for mid-to-large size IT companies, it plans to expand to other industries and domains in the near future. Its current focus is on user acquisition and iterating quickly based on user feedback.
Since the official launch, TapWisdom claims to have amassed over 2,000 downloads, on-boarded advisors from over 100 top companies, generated close to 140 job and company reviews, and has had 86 job evaluation requests.
Currently free for download and use, the team is exploring multiple revenue streams from different channels like- content, verified company profiles and an ‘advisor-job seeker’ telephonic connect platform once it hits sufficient traction. The startup is currently focussing only on the Indian market but believes the platform can be scaled globally based on the demand for such services. Currently available only on Android, the iOS version of the app is scheduled to launch by mid 2016.
TapWisdom currently has five main features for users to explore. Anonymity is a key part of the app and both advisors and job seekers can send and submit job evaluation requests anonymously. Users can also build their professional reputation on the platform by completing tasks and be awarded with credits and badges for their efforts.
Company news: TapWisdom curates and summarises latest company news to help professionals stay informed about companies they are interested in. For example, news about organisational structure change, departures of key executives, hiring in certain domains etc. It also offers short-form content and users can read detailed news from the source.
Become an advisor: Users can become verified advisors on TapWisdom by logging in with their LinkedIn account and verifying their credentials. Advisors can help professionals make an informed career decision by completing job evaluation requests sent by job seekers, sharing their experience about a career role or company they are familiar with.
Company reviews: Users can read reviews from current and ex-employees by following companies or going to the company pages. TapWisdom also provides an overall rating for each company by aggregating all reviews.
TapEvaluate: Before accepting a job offer, users can check whether it matches their career aspirations and work preferences. Professionals can openly or anonymously request multiple current and ex-employees of a company to evaluate their job offer.
TapIndex: Professionals can index themselves against their peers from 685 companies in India. Users can refine their index by department, roles and years of experience. For example, a software engineer at Infosys with four years of experience can index herself against professionals with similar background in TCS, Accenture, Capgemini etc. She can check minimum, average and maximum salary paid to professionals with similar experience in other companies, while being anonymous.
TapWisdom claims that this feature currently includes more than two lakh salary-related data points for 685 companies, sourced from publicly available web sources using data mining techniques and anonymously collection from professionals.
Interviewing and hiring is a time-consuming and expensive affair for both companies and job seekers. It is estimated that bad hiring decisions for a candidate earning $100,000 per year could cost the company, on average, $250,000, and that expense comes right off the bottom line. Consulting firm Deloitte estimates millennials will make up 75 percent or more of the global workforce by 2025 and their desire to switch jobs more frequently than the previous generation can affect companies more.
Jobs and career marketplace Glassdoor is the biggest player in this space and has so far raised about $161 million in funding across six rounds. TapWisdom's adjacent competitors include TheMuse, Jobspire and Super. The startup aims to stand out through its features such as verified advisors, relevant insights, evaluate and index features.
TapWisdom is a well-designed and executed app and each feature adds value for the end user. Over the course of three weeks that I had the app installed on my phone, it pushed only relevant news to me occasionally, based on the companies I chose to follow.
The ability to switch to anonymous requires just one tap and is a plus for usability and users who wish to constantly switch between anonymity and their profile. The company review section is also interesting and well done for an early-stage startup, but currently doesn’t have the depth of Glassdoor. The job evaluation feature is also well-executed.
While the app provides a short tutorial through images during the sign-up process, users will take some time to get used to TapWisdom and understand how the different features work. Introducing a social feed for activity of users in one’s network and more advanced search fields could further enhance the app’s usefulness.
TapWisdom lives up to its promise of catering to the needs of job seekers through their different features and also by tapping into the knowledge and experience of advisors. Increasing the volume of news and driving more meaningful interactions on the platform will now be the focus and challenge. With an experienced team that consists of millennials themselves, it will be interesting to see how they go about growing this platform and the features they add in the next update.
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