A Chat with Joseph Williams, CEO and Co-Founder at Hiring Platform: Clu

Clu is a UK-focused hiring platform making the working world work for everyone.

Every day “search and apply” recruitment platforms encourage job seekers to apply for millions of opportunities they will never be hired for. This universal process wastes significant organisational resources but also entrenches systemic oversight of the time and toll it takes for a job seeker to apply for a job.

Clu is fixing this global business issue with a social solution. Our platform uniquely ditches CVs and focuses on learning job seekers’ skills, behaviours, aspirations, and expectations and uses this data to present meaningful and relevant job opportunities to them – using a match scoring algorithm.

Clu is inclusive, accessible and impact driven, by design. We are a B-Corp meaning we have audited commitment to environmental and social impact. Our users commonly faced barriers to entry elsewhere because the systems they engaged with didn’t support their needs or they developed their skills on the non-traditional paths that are excluded by CV-sifting technology. Clu anchors to proving demonstrable value outside of years’ experience and education background and creates equity of opportunity in the job market for those with the most to gain from it.

We are enabling economic participation and social mobility at scale and offering a first-of-its-kind solution in a broken £419B market currently operating at 50% efficiency.
CLU blog (mobile)

How did you come up with the idea for the company?

When I met my boyfriend and Co-Founder, Cayelan Mendoza, we had both experienced challenges in the UK job market. Myself, despite having a natural ability for numbers and strategy, found doors closed to me because of my neurodiversity and a non-traditional education root.

Cayelan had a similar experience and couldn’t get jobs, despite arriving in the UK with vast experience starting his own gaming studio, because of a lack of university degree and the so-called ‘right’ experience. We were tired, like so many people, of being overlooked for jobs we knew we’d be great at.

We found support from each other and the more we looked, the more we found dated systems that blocked great talent and soon realised that the biggest challenges facing organisations are underpinned by failing recruitment practices and the current CV process favouring more traditional backgrounds – and basically all current rec-tech solutions entrenching and not solving these challenges. We found in each other renewed faith in our capabilities and this drove us to set up Clu from a place of empathy to do something about the barriers to entry we faced and so many others like us face daily.


How has the company evolved over the last couple of years?

We started the company in 2021 and have packed a lot into the last twelve months – thanks lockdown(s). We have analysed over 100,000 job adverts to understand which skills organisations are really looking for the most. We spoke to over 20,000 job seekers to understand what their biggest challenges were and how we could help overcome them. In our beta pilots, we were working with top businesses such as BBC studios, Stryker and UKTV.

We found that not only did our platform provide shifts forward in demographic representation but hiring managers found added value in our data sets and candidates felt empowered during the hiring process and even unsuccessful candidates noted a positive experience. We have moved on to create our Clu v1.0 platform which we launched in February this year.

What can we hope to see from Clu in the future?

Our vision is a working world that works for everyone. This means every single human capable of participating in the workforce is illuminated by their talents and can be given equitable opportunities to utilise them. But what does this mean? We are capturing volumes of data around skills, behaviours, salaries, demographics, and geographies.

We are using the findings from our analysis of this data to create more features that specifically target the mobilisation of the most marginalised groups in society. We are already running specific programmes for refugees, the neurodiverse, and economically disadvantaged young people, and want to scale this impact far beyond the UK.

Clu is at the forefront of the social mobility revolution. And we will not stop breaking down barriers to entry and participation until we achieve our vision of a democratic job market.