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M’sian uni students made a “LinkedIn” for creatives that’s gotten 2K users in under a year

In recent years, more job portals and networking sites that cater specifically to the creative industry have cropped up.

For many, the main reason why these other solutions were launched despite Malaysia already having access to established jobseeking sites was because of unmet creative needs.

As an example, a traditional job portal like JobStreet does not offer creatives the ability to showcase their portfolios. When it comes to visual work, being able to showcase what you can do makes the hiring process much easier for both talents and employers.

To add, employers have to pay for a job ad on traditional portals despite not being guaranteed a talent match. It’s an unsustainable hiring model for smaller companies like SMEs or startups.

Thus, these companies tend to turn to sites like Facebook, utilising community groups to find talents. Though it’s a free strategy, it can still be inefficient since the employer and talent will need to put in time and effort to get connected and begin discussing employment.

Noticing all these issues, and more, then-university student Kelvin Tai and his team of peers began doing market research to get more insights from employers. Equipped with a better understanding of the creative industry’s needs, they launched Artmeet on March 1, 2021.

A new jobseeking option for creatives

For talents, other than creating a standard jobseeker profile, Artmeet also allows them to post their portfolios and showcase endorsements from previous employers.

Kelvin described the site to Vulcan Post as being LinkedIn-like, and though it bears no visual similarities, I can see how it’s functionally similar in terms of LinkedIn’s job-seeking features, with a few add-on ones for creatives.

But again, as mentioned earlier, there are more creative-catering sites in Malaysia now, with a strong contender being Rtist, which we previously covered here.

Comparing Artmeet and Rtist, they appear to offer very similar features, even in terms of previous employer endorsements (or reviews, as the latter terms it). Rtist also doesn’t charge a job listing fee, but offers employers a credit system they can use to bump up their ads, be featured, or have their requests marked as urgent.

In contrast, Artmeet offers employers unlimited job ad postings and an unlimited ability to unlock talent resumes currently. But come January 2022, a free account will be limited to 3 job ads per month and talent resume unlocking that’s on an invite-only basis.

Its planned pricing structure for the future is to charge RM58/month if you pay for a yearly subscription, or RM98/month if you pay monthly. This brings back the privilege of unlimited job ad postings, and the ability to unlock 10 talent resumes per month, among other things.

Rapid growth and promising numbers

So far, Kelvin shared that they have almost 1.2K designers and over 900 companies signed up to Artmeet. Over 800 job vacancies have also been posted on the site, with 59% being internships and 41% full-time jobs.

The current success rate of talents finding jobs within 3 working days is at 61%, according to Kelvin.

“We have introduced new features, candidate management, and virtual interviews to increase the successful hiring rate, allowing companies to actively invite designers for virtual interviews through our platform,” he added.

“Therefore, companies no longer need to passively wait for designers to apply for jobs. We believe that the success rate will increase in the first quarter of 2022.”

There’s a freelance marketplace for one-off gigs / Image Credit: Artmeet

He also shared that they have a compounding monthly growth rate (CMGR) of about 31.29% for designers and 48.44% for companies.

All in all, these numbers point to the fact that Artmeet is tapping into the existing demands of creatives in the right way.

Not bad at all for a site built by university students at the time who weren’t able to fully commit to the project.

Getting their efforts acknowledged

Today, 3 of the 4 co-founders have since graduated, with their CTO Xavier opting to continue his Master’s studies.

In total, it took the team 3 months to develop and launch their minimum viable product (MVP), and they leveraged Facebook groups to validate their idea and generate traffic to their site.

As Kelvin put it, their biggest challenge in the early stages was the classic chicken and egg problem.

“We put a lot of effort into getting traffic manually via Facebook by commenting on different groups’ posts. It took around 4 months to solve the chicken and egg problem without spending a single cent of the marketing budget.”

And their efforts have been acknowledged, with Artmeet being shortlisted as a Top 10 finalist in the Alpha Startup Digital Accelerator (ASDA) by 1337 Ventures. Though they didn’t end up being a Top 2 startup, they later met their angel investor through ASDA.

The team has also been shortlisted as one of the Top 22 startups at the competition Youth Co-Lab Malaysia 2021, which is ongoing until March 2022.

Going beyond the jobseeking realm

Based on our interview, it would appear that Artmeet also has larger goals beyond connecting jobseekers and employers.

“We believe that creative talents not only need a job site, because landing a job is just the tip of the iceberg in their entire creative journey. We want to create an ecosystem that is able to create more value for [creatives],” Kelvin said.

He explained, “For example, we are going to launch a competition platform in January 2022 that allows third-party organisations to host online competitions for creative talents to participate and gain experience.”

At the same time, they plan to launch a LinkedIn-like professional network (social media features included) dedicated to creative talents.

This would bring Artmeet’s model even closer to that of LinkedIn’s, but it’s not a negative thing, considering how LinkedIn has become the preferred professional networking site no matter one’s industry.

“In 2023, we are aiming to duplicate and expand the successful model of Artmeet to Singapore and Indonesia’s market. Eventually, we aim to help at least 30,000 creative talents in the Southeast Asia region,” Kelvin concluded.

  • Learn more about Artmeet here.
  • Read more jobseeking content here.

Featured Image Credit: Artmeet

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(UEN 201431998C.)

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