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This job search site is trying to be the solution to the Great Resignation by prioritizing picky candidates

February 7, 2022, 6:12 PM UTC

With more job opportunities than unemployed workers, the Great Resignation has seemingly provided individuals with a new luxury: choice. Yet, can potential candidates really afford to be selective in this market? According to the creators of the new job search engine Otta, there is no shame in being picky about where you want to work. 

“I believe the future of the recruitment industry is going to be about truly putting candidates first,” Sam Franklin, Otta co-founder and CEO, tells Fortune. The past two years “brought about changes that mean job seekers are now pickier than ever.” He points specifically to big social movements, like the climate crisis and Black Lives Matter, which has led to employees becoming more self-reflective and critical of their employers. 

Otta, the London-based job search platform, launched in 2020 in response to what the founders saw as a lack of innovation in the recruitment field, and it specializes in tech openings at high-growth startups, like Zoom, Co-Star, Squarespace, and Reedsy

With increased demand for skilled workers comes employee empowerment, argued Anthony Klotz, who coined the term Great Resignation, in an interview with BBC

“For talented individuals, in high-demand industries like tech, we’re seeing a lot of [job] movement. People are finding jobs that give them the right pay, benefits, and work arrangements in the longer term,” Klotz said. 

Otta wants to target the white-collar subset of the Great Resignation who are looking for not just better pay but also to transition into different sectors and work cultures that align with their goals and priorities. 

“Our audience are the ‘All Ins,’” says Franklin, “so called because they’re ‘all-in’ on their career. They’re smart, ambitious, and want more from their job than just a competitive salary.” 

Whether the Great Resignation will end up empowering workers in the long term is yet to be fully realized, but Otta is determined to make recruiting more employee-focused. It’s also aiming to appeal to a younger generation, claiming to help individuals write the type of applications that “don’t get ghosted.” Even the interface reads younger, with eye-catching colors, interactive features, and a curated set of job matches that users can swipe through like a dating app. 

Otta also wants to know what job candidates don’t want. Users can filter out industries and/or technology platforms that don’t interest them. 

New users take a quiz to help them clarify what they want out of their job search. The first question focuses on what job seekers want most out of their next job, with a list of values ranging from “diversity and inclusion” to “working with great people” to “progressive leadership.” 

While compensation is not listed as an option on the first question, candidates can share their preferred pay range at the end of the quiz. Franklin argues Otta users care about more than just salary with 52% of people signing up for Otta saying they prioritize flexibility and well being and 40% want meaningful work, whereas only 18% value compensation the most. 

After finishing the quiz, Otta matches its users with open positions from companies. Each job listing comes with a ton of information on the company, including employee growth, Glassdoor reviews, information on the founders, and company press. It also provides the company’s response rate, so users know how likely it is they’ll hear back about the application they submit.

Otta has fewer job listings than job search sites like ZipRecruiter, LinkedIn, or Glassdoor, and it’s not a search engine like Indeed where users can look for specific positions or companies. Instead, users are encouraged to apply to their recommended matches. And Otta is constantly tweaking its algorithm to respond to a user’s engagement in an effort to make sure they get job listings that meet their interests. 

Perhaps thanks in part to that tighter edit of job opportunities, Otta claims that users are twice as likely to land an interview. With LinkedIn, eight in 100 applicants receive an interview, while at Otta, 16 out of 100 get an interview. According to Franklin this is in part because of Otta’s product but also because of the candidates’ reputation, “[C]ompanies know Otta candidates are driven to work at fast-growth companies and are typically mission-driven rather than just seeking a high salary.” 

The pandemic has upended the job market in dramatic ways, and Otta argues it’s the best way to find a job in these new times. Whether it can truly give employees the power remains to be seen, but for a certain subsection of white collar workers, it might be the job-search platform they’ve been hoping for. 

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