Swiss startup Silp is finally expanding in Europe, proving that social recruiting is not only possible but also that it works extremely well.

Silp launched nearly two years ago with a somewhat novel approach to recruiting – similar to what BranchOut was trying at the time.

After two years, they’re finally making it out of their testing grounds in Switzerland, and expanding to new countries, most probably Germany, although growth is being driven by large corporate customers, not specific countries.

This is interesting because BranchOut abandoned its model last year after raising $49 million. Silp, which is self-financed, might be doing something right if, after two years, they’re still in business and growing.

After refining their algorithm and trying various approaches, Silp started testing a new employer solution in October last year. They’ve been running the product with several big Swiss companies, both in the software and healthcare industry, with very good results.

While Silp has six million registered users and potential access to around 600 million candidates, the hard part has always been about getting companies to use such systems for their ongoing recruiting efforts. Silp is focusing their sales pitch on very large and visible corporations from the DACH region, which involves long sales cycles but very rewarding customers.

So far, they have some very good numbers since they launched their employee solution, with 11.000 emails sent to potential candidates, an open rate of around 33% and a 10% click-through.

More significantly, out of the final list of candidates their testing customers reviewed, 60% came from the Silp network.

Not everyone believes in their vision, however. Danny Fitzgerald, regional manager of the Uncubed conference, an unconventional job fair, explains:

“I believe job candidates should never be complaisant in thinking that work will just find them, rather they should take a more active role in the hunt by joining relevant community/meetup groups, attending workshops, and going to events.

The most successful companies at locating these people can easily be found, as they are the companies who are consistently championing the community and visibly looking to meet and support like minded folks (potential new hires.)

Algorithms can’t detect cultural fits. Candidates should be humans rather than keywords. “

I’m sure the Silp team thinks otherwise and while the startup world is indeed about creativity, other industries might benefit even more from a tool like Silp than the startup ecosystem.

In short, we’ll see if Silp sticks.

  • Andreas Brenner

    We will indeed see if it sticks. I think personal recommendations used to be a vital part of Silp’s product. The algorithms just help identify a pool of potential candidates to approach for recommendation.