Europe, YouRock!

Europe YouRock!
 

The traditional resume or CV is an outdated relic in our digital age. We live in a world where the open source, social internet can enable people to be innovators, creators, authors and entrepreneurs. 

How can a couple of sides of A4 paper still sum up who we are?

We need a new tool – urgently. A tool that showcases how people express their individuality and skills. 

This week, thousands of organisations across Europe are using YouRock.Jobs to do just that. The YouRock site helps people to discover their working skills, and provides a platform where they can illustrate their ‘skills personality’.

It is the digital resume that people need. And with youth unemployment still at around 21% for Europe as a whole, and much higher in certain countries, we need it badly.

As of January 2015, there were 6 of the 28 EU member states with youth unemployment above 30%. Two are over 50%. Many of these young people fear that unemployment is their destiny, that they will never find work. Never.

For these people it’s changing their view of the world and their moment in it. Behind these statistics are around five million people, people who should be planning, dreaming and thinking big.

Our philosophy at YourRock is summed up in our manifesto.

yourock_manifesto
 

It’s wrong to assume we can do nothing about it.

Youth unemployment has been allocated huge EU budgets in the Youth Guarantee, showing just how catastrophic politicians perceive the problem to be. But normal market forces aren’t shifting the problem. So we decided to do something about it, creating an employability platform for young Europeans.

We developed the prototype for YouRock in a crowd-funded youth hackathon in late 2013 – and the core of that youth-designed system is exactly what you see today. YouRock was designed for young people, by young people.

Liberty Global, the largest international cable company with operations in 14 countries, sponsored its initial development last year and is helping us to build our current momentum this year.

But now YouRock is gaining a momentum of its own. It’s not viral yet, but it feels like we are in that sneezy moment just before the full effect of the ‘viral’ kicks in.

The audience is engaged and growing quickly. The site had 2500 active users as of last week. It is only Wednesday and already it has doubled to 5000. And we are closing in on 5000 Facebook followers, up from 4000 last week.

We may not have the product perfected yet, but we have a development curve that will add new features, improve the user experience, bring employers and create new markets. But the thing that we’ve got right now is momentum with our audience. People are sitting up, leaning in.

This week YouRock is being used by organisations from Siberia in the far east of Russia to Dublin in the west. And in Moscow, Warsaw, Riga, Vilnius, Athens, Amsterdam, Paris, Sofia, Bucharest, Budapest, Belgrade, Bologna, Barcelona, Brussels and Berlin and many other cities in between – not all beginning with B!

Venues in these places will run workshops as part of the Get Online Week campaign. Many of the organisations and networks involved have helped us to translate the system into 17 languages. Huge thanks goes to them. You know who you are, and You Rock!

These organisations are known collectively as ‘telecentres’; places where people can go for help with digital stuff like employability, public services, online shopping or just how to send an email. These places do these activities every day in thousands of libraries, education centres, schools and NGOs right across Europe.

And social media means that we cannot sleep either. We are busy with sign-ups at 2am and right through the night, the time when this demographic are discovering, sharing and dreaming of a better future (sometimes we wish they were actually dreaming.)

We want this supposed ‘lost generation’ to get up the next day and look themselves in the mirror with renewed enthusiasm and confidence and say to themselves: “You Rock!” But it’s easy to create socially-sharable sound-bites. There have been many who have tried this before. And failed. The CV may be broken, but it’s still mandatory to get a job.

So YouRock.Jobs helps people to discover the work skills that they have hidden in their daily activities and then allows them to build a profile of the skills personality that they have. Are they predominantly analytical, creative, technical, organisational, a communicator or a born leader? Sometimes they are surprised by what they find.

 

YouRock allows them to build a portfolio that shows these skills, and it allows their profile to be viewed in any of the 17 system languages (and yes, there are more on the way). 

But are these the components of a killer app to restart recruitment?

We hope so, but we just don’t know yet. One thing we know is that this is a market badly in need of some serious disruption. And we need more far-sighted partners, investors and employers to get on board and help us to disrupt on a massive scale.

This generation deserves nothing less than that. Who knows what they will create and achieve if we do give them the tools and the self-belief to dream and think big.