Helping young people to get work experience

Recent graduates often face the ‘work experience catch 22’ – they need experience to get a job but have no way of getting that experience in the first place.

One way that many young people address this is by taking on part time work while studying to gain valuable transferable skills that may help them to land a full-time role after graduation. Identifying this trend, siblings Alexander and Stephanie Florio founded Swob, a Canadian app that makes finding a student job even easier. Earlier this year, Swob was announced as the winner of Virgin Mobile Canada’s Pitch to Rich competition and received a $10,000 investment, as well as a meeting with Richard Branson. We caught up with Alexander to find out more about the app…

Dubbed the “Tinder for jobs”, Swob allows students to search for part-time, seasonal and full-time jobs in the retail, food services, and hospitality industries with a swipe on their smartphone. Users simply upload a profile, answer a series of questions, add their resume and identify their location to view jobs that might be a good fit for them. Users can then simply swipe left if they don’t want to apply for a job or swipe right to send their profile and resume to the employer.

“We created Swob because we noticed a trend in the job market that there is nothing available for students looking for a job,” Alexander explains. “Although many job boards exist, the types of roles that are found are not the types of roles that students are applying to. The majority of students need a part-time job during the school year and with Swob they are able to apply for a variety of jobs through the use of an app which is relevant to them.”

Swob founders Alexander and Stephanie Florio with Richard Branson (centre)

According to the 2011 Canadian University Survey Consortium study, 56 per cent of undergraduates in Canada held a job, working 18 hours per week on average. Swob is helping to make it easier for young people to find “meaningful employment”. Alexander adds: “Life can be hectic, and knowing that there is a tool available that is not only simple to understand, but relevant, can truly help those who struggle looking for work.”

Not only is Swob helping to improve students’ chances of finding work and gaining those all-important transferable skills that will help them in years to come, it’s also helping employers to attract a diverse workforce. “We believe that diversity in the workplace is critical,” Alexander says. “It provides an opportunity for people of all backgrounds to bring new perspectives and ideas to the workplace. Not only does a diverse work environment bring new and innovative ideas, it increases the talent pool within.

“Swob is helping to create diversity for the employers using the service by providing all job seekers an equal opportunity to apply to the various roles available on Swob. Every individual is unique, and we ensure that all job seekers have a chance to showcase why they deserve to be hired.”


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