One month ago, we covered Workfu and how it’s aiming to connect talented people with great opportunities. We walked you through the site and showed you its features. Now, the entire web platform has received a massive facelift.
To better understand the mission behind Workfu, I had a quick chat with co-founder Mike Kus. This guy has been around the web and smartphones for some time. You might know him from his awesome work at Carsonified/Treehouse, or from his 240k+ followers on Instagram. Now it’s time you know him as the leader of the Workfu mission.
The space of connecting professionals with other professionals has recently taken off. There’s LinkedIn, the industry standard, and now there are more dev/design directed sites like Zerply and Workfu. But what separates the latter from the rest? What was the reason for the redesign? What does Workfu want to achieve? All of these were answered in our 5-question chat.
Q. How did you meet your fellow co-founders?
I had been working with Neil Kinnish and Pete Nelson on a couple of client projects and Adam had also worked with Neil in the past. So, before WorkFu we already had a working relationship. When we started talking about what was to become WorkFu, the team just fell into place.
Q. What drove you guys to start Workfu?
We’d been looking at different networks and talking about our ideas around work / opportunities for some time. We discussed leveraging all of the different networks (Twitter, Facebook, etc) to solve these problems, using the data that users have already amassed. Knowing how important acquiring the right talent can be; we realised WorkFu could be a key tool and a potential solution to this problem.
Q. Loving the redesign to Workfu. Care to give us a bit more insight into it and explain the difference between it, Zerply, and LinkedIn?
We want WorkFu to be a tool at the heart of your working life. We want it to help user’s build their career. There are three main parts to WorkFu at the moment; they are User Profiles, Networking and Opportunities.
We’ve only just begun with the profiles but with upcoming new features such as the ‘Influence Graph’ we aim to create a deeper insight into each of our users. We’ll also be bringing in other features to further enhance our profiles in the future.
We’ve just introduced new networking features in the form of ‘following’ and ‘connections’. We’ve done this for a couple of reasons. Firstly, we wanted to bring in the ability for our users to build connections and communicate/network with each other through WorkFu in a professional capacity. We’re also using the ‘following’ data in a clever way to help enrich our profiles. It’s the ‘following’ activity on WorkFu that will build each user’s Influence graph.
At the core of what we do, we’re matching the talent in our system to the work opportunities in our system. With the data users have given us we can match them with the most relevant opportunities in the system. The opportunities are shown to the user, rated by Fu Score. It also works the other way around. When a user posts an opportunity we instantly bring back the most relevant potential candidates in the system.
I think there are obvious similarities between WorkFu, Zerply and a number of other platforms. But as both platforms grow I think it’s clear we also have our own visions.
Q. What are the next steps?
We have a lot of plans for WorkFu. We want WorkFu to be the platform at the heart of your working life and something that helps users build their career. In the short term we’ll continue to match our talent base to great work opportunities. We’re also going to be enhancing our user profiles. We’ve just introduced ‘following’ and ‘connections’ so that users can start to build their network and communicate with their peers.
An important reason for bringing in ‘following’ and ‘connections’ is that we can use the data collected in clever ways to add more value and improve features around the site such as the FuScore and our upcoming release of the ‘Influence Graph’.
now that we’ve launched these networking tools, we have a number of plans to enrich our profiles, first of which is to bring in the ‘Influence graph’. The ‘influence graph’ will be formed form the data collected by the ‘following’ and ‘connection’ activity within WorkFu. So, when a user follows another user, not only do they become a new follower, they contribute to that user’s ‘influence graph’.
Because we already understand a lot about our users in a professional context, we can tell you what sort of people are following you and where their professional expertise lies. using this following data we can determine a user’s ‘professional influence’.
Q. How was the redesign initiated, planned, and executed? What problems did you face along the way?
WorkFu has been executed in stages. We launch features on a regular basis, so each new feature is treated like it’s own project. Working like this helps us focus on getting each new part of the application, right. We spend a lot of time working on the design, UX and interactions to make WorkFu super easy to use.
We have been very lucky and not run into many problems, however we’ve implemented features and realised they didn’t work as well as we wanted and so removed them and also faced some challenges with the data, due to the nature of the application we are dealing with big data.
Q. Where do you guys see yourself by the end of the year?
We have various features we are building into the application, but currently we are focussed on building the foundations.
Mike Kus and team definitely have some interesting things planned for Workfu. And any site that aims to benefit designers, developers, and creatives alike gets a stamp of approval from The Industry. With that said, sign up for Workfu if you haven’t already. It’s pretty cool! If you’re looking for people to follow, I’m @jarederondu.