Seal Jobs, a digital recruiting platform for temporary work, is one of Belgium’s fast-growing HR-tech startups. Its business model is simple, as their app basically works as the “Tinder for jobs”, largely for students. They’ve launched in October 2016 and, reportedly, they are already working with 500 companies and 10,000 jobseekers across Belgium.
Seals Jobs: successful matches
Thus far, Seal Jobs managed over 4,000 successful matches. With the financial backing of a traditional recruitment firm, Vivaldis Interim Group, they’re now looking to disrupt recruitment in their home-country even further, away from just temporary student jobs.
Why do you call yourself Tinder for jobs, in other words, what does Seal Jobs do?
Yannick Van der Gucht (CEO): “Seal Jobs is a digital recruitment platform for flexible student jobs in hospitality (horeca), retail, promotion, logistics, etc. We focus on matching on demand job opportunities with available candidates. We are different from outdated advertising boards and interim agencies as we are using technology to better match candidates and vacancies and we give modern communication tools to seal the deal, asap.
The Tinder for Jobs is something that the press has published about our platform. Let’s consider it a compliment, but we go way further than just matching largely based on geolocation. We interpret location, education, previous job experience, swipe behaviour, rating to find the best fitting vacancies. And, we do that vice versa for the vacancy and the recuiter. Our goal is to minimize the time of our users on our app to maximize their return.”
Who are your co-founders and what is their background?
“Martijn Kerckhaert has started an offline interim office only for students after he graduated in 2012. The business plan was part of its thesis and he decided to go for it. After a successful exit in 2015, he decided to study IT as he saw many opportunities in the digitalisation era within the employment market.
Via via, he crossed the path of the other co-founders and he was the perfect fit to perform the role of CTO in the new digital temp job matcher.
Matthias Van Lent was a graduate student who started working on the idea with friends for students that should not pass by interim offices anymore to find a cool job in their neighborhood. I (Yannick Van der Gucht, ed.) brought all the parties together and just started executing on the idea.”
What does your growth look like, what are your achievements?
“We launched our web application in Antwerp in October 2016. We kept our focus geographically and offering as we were intensely working together with our customers in improving the product based on their feedback. Based on the learnings and feedback we have launched our apps and we are growing with 500 new candidates and 40 new companies per week, and this growth is exponentially increasing in Flanders and Brussels. We have until today 600 companies and 10000 candidates. We will start soon with launching in Wallonia, the French speaking part of Belgium.”
In terms of funding, how much did you raise to date and what do you need in the foreseeable future?
“We have raised a seed round of €500.000. We will raise the next round after summer break. The goal is to become the number one recruiting platform in Belgium as soon as possible, so the extra funds will be invested in team expansion, IT and marketing.”
You’ve joined StartIt KBC, how was that experience?
“Very good. Startit KBC is the biggest incubator in Belgium and the quality of the startups and the people is very high. Startit positions itself as a community, rather than giving money in return for equity.
They facilitate our “hard-knock” entrepreneurial journey with not only giving us free office space and coffee but also offering us workshops(marketing, sales, financing,…), mentors and networking opportunities with fellow entrepreneurs, startup enthusiasts, and corporates. But the biggest surplus is learning from your peer
But the biggest surplus is learning from your peer startups. It is shockingly how every startup goes through different maturity phases. The synergies of just getting and sharing feedback from other startups is enormous.
KBC is the biggest bank in Belgium they also have an immense network in Belgian corporate world. Leveraging their network helps to get startups move faster.”
In terms of product roadmap and business model, where are you heading?
“We have recently pivoted our business model. We are focussing on becoming the biggest job matching platform in Belgium. Since our launch, we are talking to our customers on a daily basis and we assess these features with our customer advisory board, depending on the gross added value. As we are delivering a lot of value to our customers in finding new candidates, we still see plenty of opportunities and value in transforming Seal Jobs to a must-have managing tool of their flexible staff.”