Posted on June 9, 2017 by staff

Debut app campaign puts disheartening job-hunting to sword


Student and graduate careers app Debut is targeting one of the most disheartening aspects of job-hunting – a lack of feedback following unsuccessful interviews.

In an attempt to change interview culture, the team launched its #FightForFeedback campaign on Twitter, along with a petition.

The campaign follows research undertaken by Debut, revealing 83 per cent of face-to-face interview candidates have not received feedback from the employer.

The petition urges government to make it a legal requirement for employers to share feedback with candidates after attending a face-to-face interview.

Since its launch on May 15, it has accrued over 850 signatures.

“77 per cent of 18–23 year olds think that receiving feedback after attending a face-to-face interview should be mandatory for an employer,” Charlie Taylor, the 27-year old CEO and founder of Debut, told BusinessCloud.

“This is an issue being raised by young people themselves and we wanted to provide the channel to raise awareness of this, but also to help make a difference by potentially changing the law.”

Although it’s difficult for students to get feedback, the Debut team has been receiving positive reactions to the petition.

Taylor added: “We have received several responses from SMEs which has developed some interesting conversations around the feedback issue.

“We have discussed practicalities on resources, feedback sharing methods, and the wider impact on the UK’s economy and labour force.

“A handful of our multinational clients are backing the campaign too, including EY, O2, Capgemini, Network Rail, Fujitsu, and FDM Group.”

Taylor’s motivation to start the Debut app came from his own experiences applying to 40 different graduate jobs and attending multiple assessment centre days – an experience which he remembers as an “arduous and painful process”.

“I could not understand why the world’s most mobile audience (students) were being engaged by the world’s most digital employers in the most non-mobile way possible.

“We, as students, were doing everything from our mobile phones. The world of careers for early stage talent had yet to have a native successful mobile platform offering.”

The app reduces the time it takes to apply for jobs from an average of 50 hours to minutes. Once the applicant has completed their profile they wait to be contacted by interested employers.

From an employer’s perspective, Debut has reduced the cost of acquisition of hiring talent through the app compared to traditional mediums by up to 50 per cent.

Deborah Lally, graduate attraction and talent manager at Vodafone has used the Debut app to overcome one of her biggest challenges.

“By working with Debut, we were able to activate this unique Talent Spot feature, to target passive females and BAME students with no previous interest in a telco career, who were in their first year of university,” she says.

“The outcome was not only successful, but it was quick too. From sending the initial Talent Spot to 50 candidates, eight were hired in just three weeks.

“After just a few Talent Spots, Debut enabled us to make over 30 hires with 60 per cent of them being female, and 50 per cent from a BAME background.”

The company is on a mission to provide better access to careers for everyone says Taylor.

“Right now our users are aged 18 – 23, made up of current students and graduates seeking a career, and currently we only work with major global employers.

“In the future, we want to roll out our technology to cater to all ages and invite companies of all shapes and sizes to find talent via the Debut app, especially SMEs.

“Once we are making a significant impact on the UK’s economy and labour force, by improving the industry, we’ll be happy.”