A team of former Tinder employees has launched Ripple, a professional networking app that introduces the easy interface and addictive swiping of the dating app to the world of recruiting.
On the surface, Ripple – The Professional Network, is very similar to Tinder. Users create profiles, which can be lifted from existing profiles on Twitter, LinkedIn and Google, and are then presented with stacks of potential connections that they can either swipe to the left or right on, to indicate a desire to network with them or otherwise.
Profiles are more text-heavy than those on Tinder, and users are able to create events and groups, expanding their connections made through the app from individual conversations to group discussions.
The app encourages users to follow tweets and articles from those in their networks to keep them across developments in their industries, part of CEO and founder Ryan Ogle’s ambition to “create a network worth having”. Ripple also boasts a feature called ‘Face Connect’, which allows users to find others by scanning a photograph of their face, helping put names to faces in a corporate environment.
In a blog post launching the app, Ogle described networking as “pretty terrible today”, and reiterates the company’s commitment to reshaping professional relationships:
“Like most people, we want to build and leverage our professional network, but we just couldn’t perform the tasks we wanted using the tools available. They’re hard to use, hard to find, or hidden behind a paywall.”
As is the case with Tinder, the emphasis is never on who has refused to talk to you, but who your next potential connection may be. Ogle commented that his team “thought a lot about the psychology of networking”, an approach that could significantly change the tone of recruiting, compared to sites such as LinkedIn.
The Microsoft-owned networking and recruiting giant boats over 460 million users, but there have been questions raised about its suitability for use in recruiting.
There are ongoing problems with LinkedIn’s passive candidates; users who are fully qualified for jobs and appear on search results, but are already employed and so are difficult, or even impossible, to recruit. Furthermore, the paywalls of LinkedIn have disillusioned many users, who have had to pay more to gain access to previously free services.
The app also looks set to take advantage of the increasing influence of mobile devices and social media in recruiting. In 2016, Glassdoor reported that 82% of respondents used social media to recruit managers, and apps such as 2017’s Bumble Bizz have already aimed to unite mobile interactions and professional networking.
While Ripple’s scope is significantly smaller than that of LinkedIn – it currently only supports users in the US – its emphasis on personal relationships and user activity may alleviate the excesses of what Ogle describes as “unwanted mail” and the “lack of a community”.