Illustration by Víctor Ribas

So much has happened in our professional and personal lives in the past two years, and we’ve seen how closely the two are intertwined. People are looking for jobs where they feel a revived sense of purpose and belonging. They expect authentic interactions with employers, where they are understood, and where their unique priorities and values can shine through. 

Data on culture plays a critical role in this. How can organizations and individuals successfully match with each other without first identifying what both parties value?

Connect was built as a solution to this dilemma. An intelligent recruitment add-on to reinvent the future of work, bridging the gap between job-seekers and companies. Connect provides actionable data on culture to help organizations access candidates whose professional values match with those of their specific departments. Whilst helping job-seekers find roles that meet their cultural preferences. For example, teams that share their attitudes towards flexibility or inclusivity.

The long-term vision for Platypus is to become the operating system for culture. Empowering organizations to prioritize their employees' and candidates' values to build happier, stronger and high-performing teams.

I sat down to a (virtual) chat with Co-Founders Dan and Nico to talk about the what, the why and the how.

Platypus Co-Founders Nico & Dan

What was the catalyst? What's missing from the market that made you want to build Connect?

Nico: We wanted to build Connect to help people understand what they’re going to experience in a team, and what better way than to basically identify what the people in that team value? What's actually important to them, because you're more than your skills. You're a human being with feelings and there's things that you care for, things that drive you, and things that piss you off as well.

And when you go to an office or even if you work remotely, you're going to work and interact with the people around you. So, what they care for is important too because it's basically part of your culture.

Dan: There's a recurring problem with recruitment and the fact it hasn't really moved on. It’s literally nothing more than "we're looking for someone. We're looking for a robot to do these things. Can you do these things? And how well can you do them?"

Only recently, they’ve started asking some culturally relevant questions, but more to try and improve the candidate experience or make the organization appear in a good light. All the other tools in recruitment have primarily been about "how do we get more candidates? We want more candidates.

Nico: What Dan is saying is really important right now, because the current recruitment market and even on the philosophy of recruitment is “how do we get more candidates?" That's the logic that everyone applies and we're going the other way.

We're telling you, we're not going to give you more candidates. We're going to give you quality candidates, candidates that are pretty aligned with what's important to your departments. We're going against the grain. We don't believe that you need more. We believe you need the right one.
Connecting culturally aligned job-seekers and teams

So, employer branding seems to have spiraled a little out of control. It feels like theres often this gap between what you see and what you get. Companies are definitely taking their ‘storytelling’ to the next level and I guess we have to ask the question of how honest really is this? Is this causing problems for recruitment?

Dan: The hiring manager at a company, of course, is going to tell you something that is completely separate from the actual environment within the team in the department. And essentially you’re selling the idea to candidates depending on the size of the organization you're hiring for as well. You're obviously going to put yourself in the best light. You're going to talk about all these amazing things that might not necessarily be 100 percent accurate.

Nico: But it's like a date, right? I'm not going to tell you that I snore on the first date. I’ll tell you all the great things. And after the first night, I'm going to say, "Oh, snoring, that's weird. It never happened before, you know?"

It's exactly the same with recruitment. You lie about your company. And then when people are joining and say "Wow, you didn't tell me that" You say "That's weird. Wow. No, I mean, normally it's not like that."

And these are the sorts of lies that we want to kill. Yeah, I say kill on purpose. It's a violent word, but it's literally what we want to do. We are tired of lies.

Dan: Exactly, we want to cut out the lies. With Connect you don't get any of that influence.

You're basically telling us what you value. And we're then aligning you with companies that share those value sets.

Did you ever have that *epiphany moment* with Connect?

Nico: Yes. For Connect, it was literally morphine. That sounds weird. But, when I was recovering from my knee injury, I was resting, insanely bored and taking really strong painkillers. So it’s true. It was the morphine and playing Football Manager. I remember so clearly at the time taking pictures and screenshots of the game and telling Dan, this is what we need to build. 

(Disclaimer: Obviously do not try this at home.)

Football Manager, the inspiration behind Connect

Dan: Within football, a lot of scouting teams and actual football clubs use Football Manager for scouting and recruiting a player based off of the data sets.

So it's really about having the data to make more educated or more informed decisions. I should say that works for both parties, right, for companies and for candidates. So that's what it's really all about.

Nico: And the idea about Football Manager, it's not because it's a football game, it's really because of the nature of the game itself. It’s all about data. It's a data-driven approach to running a football club and looking at stats from players and attributes from players to recruit a strong team. And the concept was if we could have this same data and information, for candidates and organizations, then we could match them.

So, can you tell us a little more about the future of Connect? What can people expect to see?

Nico: The long term vision and goal is that Connect is beyond just connecting. It’s the platform where organizations are communicating truthfully and genuinely about what the culture is. A place where candidates can have personalized interactions with departments about their culture, their life in the organization, their jobs and everything. It's beyond just connecting. It's engaging, communicating, following. It's all of this.

And this isn't just for job-seekers, it's a useful tool even if you're not actively looking. I think we're all curious. And I'd love to know which company, which department is aligned with what's important to me. I even did it personally right when I went to try to Connect. It's not like I'm looking for a job because I pretty much love my job, but it was super cool for me to know that I'm aligned culturally with certain departments in other companies.

Dan: I mean, that's essentially the networking aspect of it as well. You can still have an interest and follow certain things without having an immediate requirement for a job, right? It's about meeting similar like minded organizations, people and just growing your network as well.

Nico: And there’s a lot of exciting plans in our roadmap which come back down to the networking, communication side of things. We’ll always be developing Connect and adding new features. So, coming soon there will be filters, letting both job-seekers and organizations filter each other per departments and locations. We’ll also be looking to add a chat function, once both the organization and the candidate have aligned, to allow for direct communication. And for companies, the plan is to offer the possibility to post jobs and post information about their true culture by advertising the values of the departments. So, there’s a lot on the way. 

We're so excited to finally share our news with you. If you'd like to learn more about Connect, click here to see how it can help you discover and connect with culturally aligned job-seekers.

To achieve our mission to become the operating system for culture, we’ve changed our pricing model. As of January we’ll be offering our platform for free for 12 months. Get started today.

Written by
Marketing Manager

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