Bootcamp 2024: Introducing Apply First with Rich Morgan

Posted: 05/02/2024

Meet Rich Morgan of Apply First – one of the Bootcampers participating in the Digital Jersey Start-up Bootcamp for 2024.

Below, Rich shares his idea to empower job-seekers, with a community-driven, peer-to-peer career marketplace, as an alternative to traditional jobs boards which he sees as largely ineffective.

What is your business idea?

Apply First is a community-driven, peer-to-peer career marketplace. Powered by individuals who are leaving their job, Apply First offers exclusive access to potential candidates to apply for that very same job, in perfect harmony.

In addition to registration and simple account management functionality, the platform will require a CMS back-end to edit/authorise posts, and a third-party payment gateway.

What sparked your initial idea?

In recent years, I have experienced first-hand the pain and frustration of applying for a new job. In my opinion, traditional job boards have become largely ineffective:

The ‘easy apply’ feature has made it too easy for candidates to apply en masse to hundreds of jobs a day, without proper consideration as to whether they are truly a fit for the role/company.
The cascading effect has inundated company recruiters with incredibly high volumes of CVs, making it harder for application gems to get noticed.

What problem are you aiming to solve?

To empower job seekers with front-of-the-line access to amazing job opportunities. Each opportunity will offer a limited number of exclusive applications, for a small fee, helping to narrow the focus of job applicants and increase their potential for success. In parallel, HR teams will be presented with a group of qualified candidates the moment someone is leaving the company, saving them considerable time and money from traditional job posting methods.

Who is your target audience?

The target audience for the platform is quite wide, as the platform is literally open to anyone leaving a job and/or seeking a new job. Initially, the target geography will be the UK and surrounding regions. The job opportunities that will be showcased will be largely professional in nature, with a focus on intermediate to senior experiences. Of course, HR teams will be a secondary target, to ensure trust is built between Apply First and the applications being sent.

Which tech entrepreneurs are you inspired by?

I recently met with Tom Hacquoil from Pinpoint, and I was in awe of the success story he shared. Pinpoint is a great product – a global player in the ATS space, and of course, built locally right here in Jersey. I’m looking forward to learning more from Tom during the Bootcamp.

What is your background?

I have worked in the digital/tech space for 20 years, having designed and built hundreds of consumer-facing websites across a variety of verticals. I have also worked in the recruitment industry, and started a talent agency business called Juice in 2023.

Why do you think Jersey is a great place to incubate your start-up?

Jersey offers a vibrant and approachable tech community, allowing start-ups to test and iterate locally, with a very close reach into the global scene. Proximity to the UK, both in actual distance, and consistency across language, timezone, and currency, is a massive benefit.

Which part of Bootcamp are you most excited about?

I’m very much looking forward to working with and learning from those who have already built & grown successful businesses. The opportunity to further validate, evolve and launch my business, alongside the smart & driven Bootcamp cohort, is a dream come true.

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