In the three years since the release of dating app Tinder, there has been a flood of swipe-happy solutions to our daily gripes. Launched in the UK last week, SelfieJobs is the latest addition to an ever-expanding list, shoehorning the jobseeking process into a snappy, Tinder-style format.
Prospective employees can upload a brief profile and a 22-second video pitch before applying for jobs with a twitch of the thumb. Meanwhile, employers can flick through potential staff to look for a match.
“Simplicity and speed is at the core,” says founder Martin Tall, who has already won more than 10,000 users across Germany and the Nordic countries since launching the app in September 2014. “So far, mostly twentysomething jobseekers have picked up on the concept. The Tinder swipe is a well-known method in our target group.”
Though less likely to appeal to twentysomethings, last month also saw the launch of Knocker, a property app that enables users to skim through houses for sale in their area. There’s also Grabble, a fashion-based app where you can browse clothes to buy. And last year the world became a better place thanks to Barkbuddy, which helps to connect pet-lovers with pups that need adopting, or “find fluffy singles near you”.
Swiping as a means of browsing prospective jobs/dogs/the future parent of your child has become ubiquitous. For Dr Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, a professor of business psychology at University College London, who has written previously about society’s “crisis of attentiveness”, the swipe format is just another symptom of the age we are living in (so, y’know, thanks for reading this far).
“Swiping in itself is not addictive,” he says. “But interacting in an effortless way with technology, and getting an instant reward (being liked or moving on to someone/something else you may like) is. We have become very impulsive and impatient.”
But although the format may be popular, whether it is always appropriate, or effective, is questionable. “Tinder works mostly as a hook-up app,” says Chamorro-Premuzic. “So the issue with applying this to jobs is that it may work to help you find temporary or freelance work but [for] long-term careers, swiping is too superficial.”
Besides, as he points out, people who are desperate for a job may swipe right on anything, a process that, as many a glassy-eyed Tinder user will tell you, could hurt their self-esteem or make them pick inappropriate jobs. “Any technology or device that helps to reduce the gap between supply and demand is a positive thing,” he says. “But some things are just style and no substance, and the excitement for them wears off quickly.”
Hold on, we are still talking about apps, right?
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