Job hunting is a painful process. From the time you send in your application to when you hear back for an interview, provide references and sign the official contract—it could take months. It’s a frustrating process that some employment portals are aiming to simplify and, most importantly, speed up.
Certsy, a SEEK (ASX: SEK)-owned credential verification platform, has signed an agreement with automated reference checking provider Xref (ASX: XF1). The collaboration aims to explore practical opportunities to streamline and enhance reference checks in employment processes.
The collaboration between Certsy, Xref and SEEK seeks to improve the utilisation of reference checks on the Certsy and SEEK platforms. The primary objective is to facilitate more efficient job placements and provide job seekers with the means to substantiate their prior employment.
To do so, Certsy develops a credential passport for individuals, and Certsy Workplace undertakes organisational compliance checks, playing a key role in the partnership. These work synchronously, with individuals securely managing and sharing verified credentials, while organisations efficiently handle compliance checks through Certsy Workplace.
Xref Founder and CEO, Lee-Martin Seymour, said, “As Australia continues to recover from the impacts of the pandemic and resulting economic pressures, there are obvious benefits to improving the speed and efficiency of the employment sector. Together with Certsy’s career passport, Xref can provide reference feedback and employment verification directly to the Employers and Candidates using the SEEK platform.”
Xref is an automated reference-checking provider that allows employers to verify candidates’ references and identification. The platform consolidates various checking services into a unified platform through a partner marketplace.
In FY23, Xref’s revenue grew by 10% to $20.4 million, with a $1.8 million boost from the Voice Project acquisition. Despite a positive operating cash flow of $0.5 million, the Company invested $4.5 million in new capabilities, including $1.5 million for the Voice Project acquisition and $2.5 million in product development. These investments, combined with financing costs, led to a decrease in Xref’s cash balance from $11.67 million on June 30, 2022, to $6.83 million on June 30, 2023.
Though it has been facing softer demand in Q1 FY24, Xref stays encouraged by the adoption of subscription sales, representing over 80% of total sales. The board has decided to continue investing in this market, potentially requiring additional cash beyond operational generation. This may involve extending and increasing its debt facility.
The initial integration phase involves enabling employers on the Certsy Workplace platform to request Xref’s reference checks. Using Xref’s existing API, which integrates automated reference checks with various applicant tracking system (ATS) partners globally, ensures a secure integration. Future phases will explore additional applications of Xref reference checks, including verifying work history and the potential use of “references before request” to expedite the hiring process.
The next steps are to build out the integration between Certsy and Xref, with both parties working closely on this first phase through until Q4 FY24.
The financial value of this partnership is not known. Certsy will pay Xref for the reference checks used in this collaboration. Both entities plan to co-market their integrated services with the support of SEEK to encourage adoption within the employment sector.
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