Co-founders of JobGet make the Forbes 30 Under 30 List
The entrepreneurial spirit and tenacity of two UBC Sauder alumni and their vision to empower job seekers in unprecedented times have landed them on the latest 'Forbes 30 Under 30' list.
Billy Lan and Tony Liu, both graduates of UBC Sauder’s Bachelor of Commerce program founded JobGet in 2018 to match job seekers to employers in the service industry with a mobile platform that expedites and simplifies the hiring process.
Lan and Liu are featured in the category of 'Social Impact': an elite list of entrepreneurs under the age of 30 whose businesses are geared towards solving some of the biggest social challenges of our times.
"We feel immensely honoured and humbled to be recognized by Forbes magazine," says Billy Lan, 29, co-founder and Chief Technology Officer at JobGet. "We never really set out to win awards. Our goal is to provide value to job seekers, and I think this achievement shows we're able to do that."
Upending job hunting and hiring practices
For JobGet users, the "value" Lan talks about comes in the form of tangible, and in many ways, life-changing benefits. The platform is proving to be a wildcard for users at a time when opportunities seem to be few and far between, and the pace of hiring is at best at a crawl.
JobGet upends this sluggish trend. It matches job seekers looking for work in the service industry with employers looking to fill positions quickly. As soon as a candidate applies for a suitable opening, they can send and receive instant messages from the employer, participate in video interviews and accept a job offer — all over a smartphone and from the safety and comfort of their home.
Tony Liu, Co-founder and CEO of JobGet, says his team has been approached by numerous users who have reported that their employment situations turned a corner in a matter of hours.
"We get tons of user feedback from people who tell us how grateful they are to have found JobGet. There was one user who told us he was out of work for two months due to the pandemic and had no luck finding work on mainstream job hunt websites. But once he stumbled upon JobGet, he got an interview within 24 hours. Two days later - he was hired. Stories like these inspire us to keep our heads down and keep working," says Liu.
The stats are inspiring too. JobGet has put 30,000 people who lost their jobs because of COVID-19 back into the workforce. This achievement coincides with success on the business front too: this year, JobGet raised $2.1million in seed funding from Pillar VC, a Boston-based venture capital firm. This brings the total funds raised to $3-million since 2019.
Driven by their personal stories
Liu’s journey to co-launching and scaling up JobGet began in 2017, when his mother lost her job as a cook and sought his help to apply for new positions. During that process, Liu was taken aback by the archaic and inefficient job-hunt methods that put both candidates and employers in a bind and exacerbated an already stressful situation.
A year later, JobGet was born with a mission to get people hired more easily and quickly.
"Today it's even more important for JobGet to reach out to job seekers," says Liu as he reflects on the sense of anxiety that's now playing out for millions of unemployed or underemployed people on a global scale.
"The beauty of our platform is it allows job seekers to show their real story, their real personality. They don't become faceless applicants buried in a sea of resumes and cover letters. You get immediate engagement and real human interaction with an employer."
Putting their education to work
While JobGet is driven by social values and personal experiences, the co-founders draw their entrepreneurial spirit and philosophies from lessons learnt at UBC Sauder. They credit faculty members Paul Cubbon, Darren Dahl and Jeff Kroeker for providing direction and support as they built their enterprise.
"The biggest thing we've learned from the classes at UBC Sauder is to have an open mind and realize there's no right or wrong way in doing business," explains Lan. "The faculty never tried to say: 'We have all the answers and you have to do it this way.' They gave us the guidelines, taught us the ropes, and then took a step back and assured us that they were there to help along the way."
The co-founders remain in touch with the faculty members to provide updates on their progress and share good news long after their graduation from the BCom program.
Next up for JobGet? Canada.
At present, the job platform serves the United States only. By 2022, the co-founders say JobGet will be poised to go international, starting with Canada. Specifically, the co-founders say Vancouver will be an ideal launchpad for their business, considering its young population of job hunters and an unabating demand for service-oriented jobs.
"We would love to expand into Canada when we have the right synergies and capabilities," says Lan. "After all, Canada is home."
JobGet may not be offered in Canada yet, but Liu's mother has ensured the news of the co-founders being recognized by Forbes magazine as 30 Under 30 winners travels far and wide.
"She shared the Forbes link in our large family group chat pretty quickly," says an ecstatic Liu. "And I've had distant relatives congratulating me from across the globe."