Debut a disruptive graduate recruitment startup, which enables employers such as EY, Microsoft, Barclays, Capgemini, Rolls-Royce, L’Oreal and General Electric to identify talented graduates, who are best suited to them within a few clicks.
Founded in 2016 by 27-year-old CEO Charles Taylor after he became frustrated with ineffective graduate recruitment programs, Debut utilizes gamification to strengthen graduates engagement and collaboration with employers to test relevant skills and abilities in candidates or to provide them with insight into the company.
IT Services provider FDM is currently averaging one hire per week through the app.
“We are very proud to support students in such a critical moment in their lives,” said Taylor. “Students can often face barriers when it comes to accessing career opportunities – but Debut is breaking these down as all they require is a phone and our free app.”
Debut is now one of the fastest growing recruitment startups in the UK and has raised a total of £2.2m over three seed investment rounds.
The latest comes from a combination of venture capital firms and angel investors including LocalGlobe – a top tier early stage venture capital firm founded by Robin and Saul Klein and based in London (they have also backed the likes of Zoopla, Graze and TransferWise to name but a few) – Supercell and Playfish investor Initial Capital, Deliveroo investor Entree Capital and Paul Forster, former CEO & co-founder of Indeed.
“We are thrilled to have such experienced investors on board to support us on our journey to become the global app for student careers,” added Taylor.
Tens of thousands of students and graduates use the app, with 85% of them actively engaging each month with top employers who can in turn target prospective graduate candidates via a ‘Talent Spot’, invite them to interviews or even fast-track them to assessment centers.
Debut has to date sent more than 500k ‘Talent Spots’ to candidates for exclusive career opportunities and they will use the latest funding round to scale their tech team, prepare for international expansion and offer in-app services to school leavers pre-university.
“Debut is great for giving us access to an active student market we couldn’t reach in a mobile-centric way before. We know mobiles are ubiquitous for students, so being able to reach them in a way that is familiar and convenient for them, is not the only key to driving quality, but also engagement and our brand profile too. We are really impressed with Debut. In just a few months we have made 20 hires, with a further 127 candidates in our selection process. We’ve reached thousands of students using the app across the UK, from a really diverse mix of backgrounds and universities, with a breadth of strengths.” said Dan Richards, recruiting leader at EY.
The recruitment tech space is really starting to hot up with the likes of London-based WeLoveWork.com who have already internationalized and expanded to America, more established players such as Indeed recently committing to create 500 jobs at its Dublin headquarters for Europe, the Middle East and Africa and San Francisco-based Hired who have raised a whopping $113.7m from the likes of Lumia Capital, Crosslink Capital and Sierra Ventures.
Having flirted with recruitment myself for a year leading up to the recession in 2008, I know how fragile the industry is to economic change or disruption. As employers are more and more attracted to disruptive startups who are data driven and can better match their needs, it may well be the final nail in the coffin for traditional recruitment agencies.
To follow Henry Joseph-Grant on Twitter click here