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University grads’ app streamlines job-hunt

Photo: Remi Yuan

While the economy has recovered significantly since the 2008 recession, the youth unemployment rate in Canada in January was 12.8 per cent, double that of the 6.6 per cent national average.

Ottawa entrepreneurs, Dylan Hunt and Nick Evans decided to take matters into their own hands, by creating a website that would show job hunters more opportunities and employers more applicants.

Hunt, a 24-year-old Trent University graduate originally from Ottawa said the pair was inspired by the vast number of their friends who hadn’t found jobs long after they graduated from university. That, and they were simply “annoyed” by the conventional job hunt.

“It becomes tedious. You spend a ton of time looking for jobs and aren’t left with time to apply to them. So many jobs fall through the cracks,” said Hunt. “We wanted to build a website to make it easier for job hunters and small businesses to be able to show their jobs off.”

So they began building Hired six months ago, an app that pulls information from company websites and displays the opportunities they have available. It filters job postings, then emails possible candidates based on key terms.

The app is free, or users can pay $8 a month for a premium account with more sophisticated settings and daily email notifications.

“You can sit back and wait for your email on a daily basis. It takes away the leg work to go to every company’s website,” said Hunt.

Hired also makes it easier for business owners to fill vacant positions, say its creators. “Small business owners who I know, say they have three jobs they would like to fill, but it’s $600 to post on Monster. They can only post one of them because they can only afford one,” said Hunt.

It costs $595 for a standard 30-day job posting on Workopolis, while Monster.ca asks for $625 for a 60-day standard posting.

“For them it’s quite simple… As soon as they put an ad on their company website, it shows up on our website. They don’t have to post anything, we pull the information for them,” said Hunt. He added that all postings appear the same way on their site, regardless of the employer.

Hunt and Evans hope to expand to Toronto within four months, Montreal by the end of the year, and eventually across Canada.

Ross Finnie, a University of Ottawa professor of labour market economics, said students are too worried about post-graduations jobs. “There’s way too much fixation on what happens after graduation,” he said.

Finnie said students’ best bet is to develop their skills in fields that interest them.

“Entering the labour market after leaving school is often unpredictable,” he said. “But if students stick with it and inform themselves of the best opportunities, and put effort into it, by and large things will work out.”