Entrepreneurial Research

  • Zalvus: Time-saving and effective job placement


    Florian, Martin, Matilda, Sebastian


When Matilda and Florian had achieved their academic qualifications and some professional experience, like many graduates, they faced a big question mark. While Florian found a permanent position through his work as a student, Matilda found herself working, after various internships, at a recruitment agency. There she noticed with astonishment how much potential for optimization and digitization the recruitment industry has. As of now, recruitment very labor-intensive and thus expensive. That’s why agencies prefer to place highly specialized professionals. Their high salaries translate to high commission fees.

Focus on young professionals

Young professionals are less easy to place – but why should that be? Now wonder Matilda and Florian belong to the Generation Y, asking themselves questions like that. In Munich, they decided to build a kind of digital recruitment agency that they had wished for after graduation. Today they say: "If we had not started our own business, now we would be our best customers."

Perfect match

The first recruitment at Zalvus happened all analogously and personally. By way of contacts with the university of applied sciences in Augsburg, Matilda and Florian found Martin and Sebastian: two software developers with an entrepreneurial mindset who were looking for a smart business idea. Towards the end of 2014, the informal founding took place over a good and solid roast pork meal at Augsburg. After dinner, the four got started with the digitization of the recruitment world.

Friends and family

The founding team collected 60,000 euros worth of initial capital in a friends and family round. That financed their development phase: in spring of 2015, the prototype was created in order to obtain feedback and to refine the product. Since the summer, the product and software developers have been working on the actual application (including mobile version) while the business model developers focused on creating the pitch deck and a marketing strategy.

Structured data and the individual touch

Zalvus simplifies the application process for career starters: enter all relevant CV data in a structured way only once. With a few clicks freely select data segments to be seen by the recruiters when applying for a specific position. Enhance your CV individually with additional texts or even video – to highlight the relevant learnings of a completed internship with respect to the job you’re applying to for example.

Simplified search and more accuracy

Also HR departments can save resources thanks to Zalvus: structured data simplifies the search and allows for direct comparisons of applicants according to certain criteria. Instead of an ordinary PDF, recruiters obtain an interactive, sometimes even multimedial application portfolio – and thus a much better impression.

When matching supply and demand of social skills, Zalvus offers their own modified personality test using the MBTI method with 16 character types. According to Zalvus this test helps to avoid many interviews with a negative outcome. Recruiters can develop a better sense of the applicant’s personality with regard to the vacant post even before the latter are invited for an interview.

Win-win matching optimization

HR departments can search more accurately and choose from a pool of young professionals who were previously not placed by agencies. Company expenses for personnel search diminish compared with traditional job placement agencies. Moreover, for the company it’s risk-free: Zalvus charges only for placed applicants; the listing itself is free.

The seekers also have advantages beyond the comfort of digital app lication: the Zalvus analytics tool included in the app lets the applicants optimize their profiles. The tool measures which segments of the application receive more clicks by recruiters than others. In addition, the Zalvus algorithm matching candidates and companies works entirely independently, based on real matching criteria. Applicants thus only see fitting job postings on the top of the list – and not the ones of the highest bidder company as on the usual websites.

Mobile recruiting from Munich

Zalvus is rooted in Munich: the name is derived from both "servus" and "salve" – ​​like saying hello to the new job. The founding team appreciates the seriousness of the city, the proximity to classical entrepreneurship and high affinity for technology. The founders say that in Munich they find a more professional environment than in hyped startup cities. For instance, they found excellent support when creating their pitch decks. Zalvus has contacts to student councils in Munich and wants to start with young professionals in the big Bavarian city and expand their radius of action based on experiences gathered there. "The market is never saturated," the founders say. If that is so, soon there will be a new pivot for the whole application process in Germany.

[September 2015]