Beyond text: Hotmail founder’s new app aims to connect job seekers with employers, using video

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November 18, 2021 5:00 AM

The Showreel app can be used to create more natural video resumes for job applications that offer much more context than just text, but also to pitch a startup idea or just to find a partner for yourself.

The app, available on both iOS and Android, can also be customised based on their requirements.

Sabeer Bhatia, the man who played a significant role in making email the default communication medium it is now, wants to change video content with his new social video app, Showreel. The Showreel app can be used to create more natural video resumes for job applications that offer much more context than just text, but also to pitch a startup idea or just to find a partner for yourself.

The Hotmail co-founder, now a serial entrepreneur based in California, says the idea came in the middle of the pandemic when he saw his eight-year-old daughter effortlessly make TikTok videos. “That sparked an idea. I said this is the future, video is the future of all content consumption. Can we do something to help the 1 billion unemployed people?”

However, the first version of Showreel was not a big success as the videos which came in response to text questions were not that natural. That’s when he decided to change the questions also into video and now in the app, the respondents answer questions that Bhatia asks, almost like a natural conversation. “I have digitised myself. So, I ask a question and people can respond to it,” he tells indianexpress.com.

“I believe in the next 10 years, rather than sending a resume to a prospective employer, you will be more likely to send a more effective video or a QR code that points to a video,” says Bhatia, explaining how this format helps companies cut down on recruitment time by helping filter candidates faster. Also, at some point, the AI layer will kick in and show candidates that align to the recruitment philosophy of the company, adds Bhatia, who has hired a team of engineers to help set up the product and take it to the next level.

The app can also be used to create pitches for a startup. “I know a few things about startups, so when you answer the questions, I ask then you would have sold your idea…” Users can answer for up to two minutes to each question.
With video, he says, the context is set and you subconsciously already know who you are going to talk to and what to expect.

“Through a LinkedIn profile, you don’t know anything about the person. A picture says a few more things, but a video will complete him, you know, so it will be better for business interaction, not just for employment,” he adds, underling that this platform offers rich data that makes it more intelligent.

Beyond recruitment, startup’s and matrimony, Bhatia already sees the platform being used to take surveys, especially where people find the written text a stumbling block. He also thinks there will be applications in health too where he will get doctors to formulate the right questions to plug gaps in the health system.

Bhatia is already working with top companies as well as the global university system to plug this into their hiring and placement process. The app, available on both iOS and Android, can also be customised based on their requirements. He said language versions can be expected soon.

As for a business model, Bhatia is candid that he is yet to think of one. But if he solves the problem of connecting job seekers with employers and making it an easier process, monetisation wouldn’t be a tough problem to solve.

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