Daniel Lewis founded Cardiff-based Digital Profile with a simple vision – to create a careers ecosystem that provides unprecedented insight into opportunities (for people) and skills demands (for businesses, educators and governments) while directly connecting the above parties.
By doing so, Lewis believes that his company can place control of people’s personal data back into the hands of individuals, rather than recruiters while simplifying and significantly reducing the cost of hiring.
Through Digital Profile, individuals can digitise their CV to get personalised career matches and opportunities related to professional development. Businesses can use the platform’s smart-matching tech to find the best candidates.
The company is generating revenue through both subscriptions and project commitments. It has a “strong” pipeline of private and public sector organisations who recognise the value in being connected with one another to access careers and skills-related insight, according to its founder.
We spoke to Lewis to find out more.
What problem are you trying to solve?
Daniel Lewis: Most of us can relate to receiving poor careers advice through high school, meaning choosing which career to pursue, and which qualifications to aim for, was ill-informed.
The fundamental aim is to improve careers advice for people aged 14 to retirement and to be a catalyst for educators, government and employers to work more closely together to address skills shortages once and for all. Only with a significant improvement in data insight, which we will provide, can this be achieved. Equally, this is about protecting personal data.
The current recruitment process simply isn’t fit for purpose anymore. People’s CVs are passed around without the specific consent of the individual who ‘owns’ it. Digital Profile will fix this, placing control firmly back into the hands of the individual themselves.
Digital Profile’s ecosystem will disrupt the recruitment industry, significantly reducing the cost to hire for employers while improving the pace and transparency of the process itself (and the experience) for all involved.
What’s been the reception to your mission?
It’s been heartening to find so many people who, due to their own experiences in building their career, instantly connect with Digital Profile and its ideology. Every day I meet new people who have their own ‘light bulb’ moments as we talk about Digital Profile and what it could (and should) mean for them. And equally, when we talk to the likes of the DWP, the RAF and local councils, and they make us central to their own efforts to improvement employments, which opens our eyes to how big this could be.
What makes you better than the competition?
Because Digital Profile is so innovative and disruptive, direct market comparisons don’t currently exist. As we scale the business, our ‘competitors’ become the likes of Indeed and Monster, LinkedIn and the recruitment agency industry as a whole (which is worth £34bn in the UK alone).
The key things that make us better include data protection – the control of data is firmly in the hands of people, and they can switch their profiles off and on as and when they want. We’re also transparent – communication is central to the platform, with individuals being assured of gaining useful feedback on their efforts to secure new roles.
And then there’s our data insights – rather than be just a transactional platform, our main objective is that the data generated is utilised by educators, government and employers to fundamentally address skills gaps. Plus, the average cost to hire someone will be significantly reduced as much of the process is automated and the need for recruitment agencies is negated. Finally, there’s simplification – we consolidate existing recruitment processes and tech into one platform.
What’s it like being a tech company in Wales?
Cardiff, where we’re based, is a great place to start a tech firm. There’s lots of support for early-stage companies, though there is a need to improve the support on offer for scaleups.
There are some really good people doing great things in South Wales, with stories that often get superseded by those that come out of more established tech clusters like London and Bristol. The personal support I’ve received from many of these people has really kept me focused and driven.
What’s on the horizon for Digital Profile?
A huge amount. We’ve got a large number of partnerships and contracts in the pipeline, both with employers (private and public) and with key stakeholder groups such as colleges and universities, county councils and government institutions.
Our primary focus at the moment is growing our SaaS offering by increasing users and employers who are paying, in order to create a tidal wave of change within the recruitment sector.
Thereafter we will be able to accelerate our efforts to provide never before available data insight in to skills, using this to support 14-18 years old students by improving their careers advice, while working closely with key influencers in order to fundamentally address skills gaps – such as digital skills – to enable the UK economy to thrive.
Additionally, we will very quickly be looking at international expansion, though this is something that is happening naturally given user growth across the globe.
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