First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Amadu BAH: We are all doing ok. It is a coping situation. We are in it together, and we shall all come out stronger. We are doing a lot of things online – schooling for the children and work for my colleagues and me. As a jobs tech startup, our work is critical in this pandemic situation.
Tell us about you, your career, how you joined MoreWithUs.
Amadu BAH: I am the VP of IT Project Portfolio Management for MoreWithUs – Everyday Jobs. I have a solid progressive career in managing an IT Portfolio of projects and programs within Shared Services and bringing new products to the market. Since 2002, I have had a long successful career in risk management and information technology. I have worked in different IT leadership roles for Wells Fargo Bank, MoneyGram International, and Merrill Corporation. I received a master’s degree in Business Administration from St. Thomas University.
I am now a co-founder of MoreWithUs – Everyday Jobs. I joined the team very early on and have remained a committed and central part of the team. MoreWithUs – Everyday Jobs was founded in 2017 in Illinois, United States.
How does MoreWithUs innovate?
Amadu BAH: We innovate in two ways. First and foremost is the approach to job search and hiring for jobs that require only a high school level education. Traditionally, jobseekers are looking to apply for a job. MoreWithUs – Everyday Jobs gives jobseekers the power to market themselves and gives employers easy access to qualified candidates. This is especially important for high school and college students and any person with just a high school level education. For these people, the traditional approach to getting a job is to submit applications – they often submit job applications to too many businesses and provide too much information over and over. For employers, they have to post job ads and wait for people to apply. In part, this is rooted in the idea that the jobseeker has to chase the job and ignores the fact that employers really need the workers just as the jobseekers need the job.
The problems with this approach are:
- It is cumbersome for jobseekers,
- Takes too much time for employers to find people,
- Even expensive.
We solve this problem by giving jobseekers one place where they will always be visible to employers looking for people with their skills and making it easy, efficient, and cost-effective. For jobseekers, it is always free. This is an innovation in the way we approach job search and hiring for small businesses. Second, as a tech startup, we are always seeking new features and tools to connect jobseekers and employers easy and seamless. We have launched our website, the app is about to come out, and we are adding new features to make communication easy – all in ways that protect the personal information of people. In fact, we make it a point not to collect detailed personal information from our users. We are a social media platform with a twist – we connect people based on one specific purpose: hire or be hired. Our platform functions as a search directory of people looking for jobs. We are a unique job marketplace.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Amadu BAH: Like all businesses, we have also been affected by the pandemic. Capital is getting a bit scarce, and hiring has slowed a bit. However, we will come out of this pandemic very strongly because we focus on people. Our services are designed for both periods of high unemployment and low employment. We are currently a vital resource for millions of people looking for jobs, which is driving a lot of traffic for us. By having people on our website, we are well-positioned to help small business hire when they need to and promote their businesses to potential customers. We see a lot of growth potential.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Amadu BAH: Yes, we have to make difficult choices in investments since capital is getting difficult to secure. However, we are able to meet our key investment targets. The biggest lesson we have learned is the importance of building partnerships with other startups and support one another. Marketing is one prime area for collaboration between startups that complement one another while trying to reach the same demographics. We have also learned to work with community organizations such as libraries and schools. This approach has allowed us to hold marketing cost down while we invest in technology.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety? How do you project yourself and MoreWithUs in the future?
Amadu BAH: Well, there are a lot of social challenges around us. It is difficult to insulate yourself or your business from these problems. We are open about the issues, and we support one another. We are a strong team. We focus on our vision, the services we provide for people and keep a positive spirit while being socially conscious members of our communities.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Amadu BAH: We are really unique in our approach to job search and hiring and the kind of demographics we serve. There are a lot of jobs companies out there, such as Indeed, CareerBuilder, and LinkedIn. Even though we are all job companies, we are quite different from all of them. They typically focus on posting jobs or on people with experience and higher education, while we focus on presenting people and making it for small businesses hiring for jobs that just require a high school level education. We plan on growing in the market that is not well-served by the traditional approach to job search and hiring. We actually do not see these traditional jobs companies as competitors – we are a complement to them.
Your final thoughts?
Amadu BAH: Well, I really want to thank you for the spotlight you put on startups. We believe in building connections and prospering together. It is a challenging time around the world, but we will all get through this by being innovative. We are excited about new ways to connect people and help them meet specific needs. We love social media and want to make it even more useful and a tool for solving the real problem. We want to be a pioneer in building the next generation of jobs marketplace and solving the mismatches that exist in the job search and hiring process.