Heroes Helps Employers Hire Young Workers Amid Big Resignation

  • Hero is a social networking job platform that targets Gen Z looking for work in the retail and hospitality industry.
  • The platform looks like TikTok and allows individuals to submit video entries.
  • This is part of the Insider Entrepreneur Series rising star which highlights the first entrepreneurs and companies.

Name: Cyriac Lefort, Tristan Petit, Adrien Dewulf

Age: 28, 28, 27

Site: New York, New York and Los Angeles, California

Business: A social networking job platform that targets Gen Z looking for work in the retail and hospitality industry.

Pass: Lefort and Petit were childhood friends in France and met Dewulf, who grew up in Belgium, in 2016 while the trio were studying in London.

As Lefort, Petit, and Dewulf scoured job sites like LinkedIn and Indeed, they felt the platforms were not targeting young job seekers like them. When they launched Hero in 2019, they kept these customers in mind: the platform looks like TikTok, allows individuals to submit video applications, and employers to share daily worker videos.

Plus, job seekers on Heroes can add context and clarity to their resumes, including in situations like job shortages, Lefort said. “The job application has been cut off for people our age,” he told Insider.

Gen Z makes up around 30% of the world’s population and is expected to grow to around 27% of the workforce by 2025, according to McCrindle research company.

Screenshot of a person's profile using the Heroes app

Screenshot of a person’s profile using the Heroes app.

Courtesy of the Heroes

Growth: Heroes closed a $ 6 million funding round in 2020, led by Greg McAdoo of venture capital firm Bolt. McAdoo was Airbnb’s first investor. Additionally, Heroes raised a $ 1.5 million pre-seed round in 2019. Panda Express, Wendy’s, Everlane and Abercrombie and Fitch are clients, and this summer, Heroes started working with the giant. H&M retail.

“These achievements in one year are exciting for the future – it shows that Gen Z really understands what we are building,” said Lefort.

Before the heroes: Petit and Lefort received their masters from the London School of Economics in 2015 and 2016, respectively, before starting a nonprofit called the W Project that studied global entrepreneurship. Meanwhile, Dewulf, who graduated from the University of Warwick in 2016, ran a blitz company called Victor between 2016 and 2018. They all quit their jobs in 2018 to move to the United States and start Heroes.

Challenges: During the pandemic, Heroes saw retail businesses and restaurants shut down, negating their talent needs. Meanwhile, the company has balanced the growing need for virtual interviews from employers who have remained open.

Commercial advice: “Focus on hiring to build a better business – you have to hire people who know things you don’t know,” Lefort said. “What they do can bring real value.”

Business mentor: The trio count McAdoo as a mentor, who advised them on how to enter the US market. Additionally, Nicole Johnson of venture capital firm Forerunner Venture helped them develop a marketing strategy and connect with strategic partners.

A behind-the-scenes screenshot of what it's like to work at Panda Express

Heroes just launched a feed that allows users to scroll through an explore tab and see what it’s like to work at the companies they care about.

Courtesy of the Heroes

Why is this the best time to start a business: Innovation often emerges from the crisis, such as The birth of Airbnb during the year 2008

, said Petit. The heroes arrive as The Great Resignation continues to settle in the United States, where hiring practices and work environments are under fire from critics.

“A lot of companies need to question their recruiting process and rethink the way they interact with younger generations,” said Petit. “There is a huge opportunity here to understand how to help these businesses.”

At hiring : The team currently has 25 people and is actively looking to grow, especially to help further develop the social tech elements of the platform, Petit said.

Manage burnout: The trio make sure to take screen breaks and get out for sports and jogging. They also make sure to read books and hang out with friends.

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