Networking can be a nightmare of human interaction if it doesn’t come naturally, so it stands to reason that humans would try to digitize the process in the hopes of weeding out the randos in a desperate search for your people. Can what works for dating also translate to jobs? The brave souls at Bumble are going to find out.
Bumble, which is a social app centered around women’s experiences, today launches Bumble Bizz, which sounds like it wants to be a non-stuffy LinkedIn for ladiezzz. It’s the latest addition to Bumble’s dating leg (Bumble Honey) and its friendship arm (Bumble BFF), creating a beautiful triumvirate in which you never have to interact with a human for first impressions again. Whitney Wolfe Herd, Bumble’s founder and CEO, said in a statement, “Love, friendship, networking—these are all critical connections and the foundation of a healthy, happy life. We want to bring you closer to all of these connections, in an empowered way.”
That “empowerment” comes in the form of disallowing men to start conversations, with women being exclusively able to make the first move—ostensibly creating a space where guys don’t get to send creepy unsolicited messages, though never underestimate the ability of a dude to find a way to send creepy unsolicited messages. That Bumble is translating its template to the workplace has a special resonance considering Wolfe Herd was herself once the target of alleged gendered workplace harassment, settling out of court with former employer Tinder after a high profile lawsuit in 2014. If Bumble Bizz provides another way for women to screen and hopefully avoid sexist employers, then more power to them; unfortunately, as with their dating rubric, there’s no way to know how a man will act once you finally make the connection—and men are not the only employers who engage in sexist workplace behavior.
Still, it’s worth a shot. Fortune describes it as thus:
To use Bumble Bizz, users create a LinkedIn-style digital resume. You can upload education and professional experience details, write a professional bio, and note what kind of opportunities you’re looking for. There’s also a skills section to list talents and awards, and the option to include examples from your portfolio. The app can be used for general networking, job seeking, or even mentoring.
At the very least, it seems more design-y and millennial-geared than the stuffy climes of LinkedIn, though Bumble brags that it has 21 million users, as opposed to the 500 million claimed by LinkedIn earlier this year. Bumble positioning itself as a concierge for all your interpersonal needs, though, is smart in the hand-holding economy. Let the games begin.