5 Things Rover can Teach the Staffing Industry

Crowdsourced dog-sitting service Rover just completed a $155 million dollar financing round.

Beyond offering a much-needed service (and helping dog owners everywhere), the high amount raised gives us a look into not just the future of services like Rover, but also insight into how we in staffing should also be evolving to meet the demands in our industry.

With that in mind, here are 5 takeaways that the staffing industry can learn from Rover.

They excellently pinpointed a problem. Rover identified the two biggest barriers when it came to pet care: trust and affordability. As of March 2017, more than 68% of American households owned a pet, a number that includes about 90 million dogs and 94 million cats. Pets can feel like part of the family, so it’s natural that we want care we can trust.

As we are working to place candidates, and hire new recruiters, we should be constantly thinking about how we can better solve problems for our clients. Rather than approaching it focused only on the placement, being strategic and understanding exactly what the hiring challenge is will help us better identify talent, resulting in more hires.

They used tech to their advantage. Sometimes the idea of using a lot of tech and automation can seem foreign to a recruiter (and sometimes to the staffing industry in general). We get stuck on this idea of a bunch of recruiters in a room, using their same networks and contacts to find jobs and working late nights to track down candidates. Rover used tech to create a 24-hour platform where users could find talent at any time, and eliminated the need for a third-party connection.

Likewise, we have so many new technologies at our disposal, we should be thinking about how we can make these innovations work with us and what we’re trying to accomplish. There are so many ways that we can make our systems work better and more efficiently, you only need to consider the areas where you’re experiencing gaps or slowdowns, and then find the tech to fill those gaps.

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They effectively leveraged data. As more users sign up for the platform, Rover is able to better vet sitters and recommend top performers in a specific area by harnessing the power of reviews. Since they only accept 20% of their applicants, many of the sitters on Rover (more than 95%) have perfect ratings. The reviews and reputation that emerges from this enable Rover to harness the data and make sure they are better matching sitters with those looking for sitters. Not only does this build trust, it also makes customers more loyal over time.

Similarly, as staffers, we should also actively be using the data we collect to build our reputations and legitimize our businesses. This will also enable us to be more effective when matching a candidate with an employer.

They relied on user knowledge. Rover is particularly successful because they didn’t have to rely on in-house talent. By adopting a crowdsourced model, Rover was able to effectively tap into the knowledge of its users, and was able to reach more people and widen their existing user networks.

Considering a crowdsourced platform may help us in the staffing industry to reach more candidates by opening our closed networks and allowing those who already know talent to help fill open positions. It’s an innovative model that may make all the difference (especially considering the stats around the productivity and longevity of referred employees).

They were creative. Above all, what we in the staffing industry can learn from Rover is that coming up with a creative solution to a known issue can make all the difference. Their rapid growth and popularity tells us that consumers are hungry for new innovations that help existing industries function better.

When we approach staffing from a point of creativity, rather than relying on the same processes we’ve always used, I think we’ll see a dramatic difference in the amount of candidates we can successfully place, and will see our industry move confidently forward into the digital age.

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Matt Tant

Matt Tant
Matt Tant is a staffing industry veteran with more than a decade of experience. He is the founder of the IT staffing firm HCTec, and is currently the CEO and founder of Relode. He can be reached at matt.tant (at) relode (dot) com.

Matt Tant

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