Job searching is a drag by any measure. Entering the same information into applications over and over even more so. It feels like a process that is ripe for a digital update, and Simplify, an early-stage startup, is trying to do that by combining questionnaires, job scraping, job matching, auto filling applications and help with answering text-based questions in one program.
Today, the W21 YC grads are announcing a $3 million seed as they continue to work with applicants and employers to try and build a business model around the idea.
Company CEO and co-founder Michael Yan says it’s long overdue that we start applying for jobs more intelligently than we typically do today. “People are spending dozens of hours scrolling through job boards, finding opportunities, and often submitting hundreds of repetitive applications. So what are we doing? At Simplify we're building what we like to call ‘an always on AI career agent,’” Yan told TechCrunch.
He likens it to a Hollywood agent, who understands your career, your background and skills and your salary requirements and helps you find the right match. You can take a quiz to help the algorithms understand your skill set. It probably works best for folks with a technical background with a specific set of skills like programming languages and dev tools.
You can also set preferences like work/life balance, diversity or innovative tech, among others. In addition you can set your salary expectations, and the software finds jobs that match your answers. The company also offers a more detailed resume-building application on the site.
But it doesn’t stop with finding you possible jobs, it helps you fill out applications by auto filling the most common information, the kind that you have to fill out over and over with the same information, and is easily handled by automation. The company is deliberately establishing itself as a separate tool from LinkedIn, which Yan says should make it more private because nobody sees your information, except potential employers.
In terms of the job listings, it presents you with a set of matches scraped from the web that match your skills and requirements, or you can download the Simplify Copilot Chrome extension and apply for jobs in an automated way as you find them in job searching tools outside of Simplify. The Copilot tool can also help you answer questions in the application based on your background and skills.
The co-founders conceived of the idea for Simplify a few years ago when they were in college, applying for hundreds of jobs and filling in the same information over and over. They thought there had to be a better way and launched Simplify in 2021, joining the Y Combinator Winter 2021 cohort.
The company has around 10 employees today. It’s remote for now, but Yan said that could change in the near future. As he hires he sees diversity as particularly important for a company like his where bias could easily creep in in a job search. “If you have a product that's designed by all men in a small room with all similar backgrounds, it's probably only going to serve those men with those similar backgrounds,” he said.
For now, the company has the runway to test the idea, but they are still experimenting with monetization methods. Today’s $3 million seed was led by Craft Ventures with help from YC, Hyphen Capital, GFC and several industry angels.