No-code businesses are making hiring easier! We’re really impressed with Karma Driven, a French startup that is connecting top tech talent with the right job opportunities. Here’s an interview with the Co-Founder and no-code enthusiast, Florent Thomas.
Hey there, my name is Florent Thomas. I’m a Central Operations Manager at Sunday, where I focus on the French operations of the company as well as on enhancing collaboration between tech, operations, and product teams.
I’ve been a tech enthusiast for a few years now. I’ve started working as a freelancer for French tech startups such as Shine, and as a data analyst at Novadiscovery as a low-code developer.
I was born in La Rochelle, France. I spend most of my freetime flying, I have a Private Pilot Licence. Apart from that I love running — my next goal is a marathon in 3 hours and 30 minutes.
I have a double degree in both engineering and finance. After graduating I spent three years working at Serena, a French VC firm based in Paris, as an Operations Manager. I used no-code tools there to build a talent pool that introduced A-players of our network to our portfolio companies.
I met Marie there, who is the co-founder of TalentLetter and Karma, and she asked me to join forces with her to run both of her newsletters.
My work with Karma Driven
Karma Driven is a newsletter that is an exclusive group of startup enthusiasts who receive handpicked job offers from the top tech companies hiring in France. These job openings can be public, but some of them are exclusive because we receive them from recruiters of our network.
Until this summer it was a weekly newsletter sent on Fridays at 2 pm with c. 2k subscribers. In early 2021 we decided with Marie to build an app on top of this newsletter to let candidates apply to our exclusive job offers directly within the inbox of the recruiters.
We decided to create a daily email alert that job-seekers can read in a few seconds with all the details to apply and that they can customise to only receive job offers they're the most interested in.
We wanted to leverage network effects and decided to make Karma Driven an invite-only job board that candidates can only access with an invitation code or the email address of a community member.
All the job offers that are featured on Karma Driven are handpicked: We only publish opportunities at companies that meet strict criteria, the same criteria that an investor looks at when they’re participating in a fundraising round. They are also tagged according to the company (size and business model) and the role (seniority and team).
Recruiters will soon have a dedicated dashboard to see and manage their job offers and the applications they got through Karma Driven. We identified three different personas that could be interested in this job board:
- Seed startups that don’t have enough visibility yet
- Scale-ups that have huge hiring needs and that exhausted their main candidate sourcing channel
- VCs that are the first ones to be aware of the new C-level job openings during board meetings and have no infrastructure to easily manage their talent pool
The challenge with tech hiring in France
The job boards that most French startups are currently using are not made for them, and they’re used more for awareness and not recruiting. The quality of the profiles you get access to via these platforms is low and for startups that aim to keep raising the average level of their teams – it just isn't worth it.
Same thing for candidates, the job search is hard and there isn’t one good platform that connects them with the right opportunities, especially since French startups don’t feature prominently on these job boards.
Building Karma Driven on Webflow
Karma Driven’s landing page was previously hosted in Webflow, so I started building a proof of concept with this tool. I chose to use Firebase for back-end purposes (authentication and storage) and Mailjet for emailing. Daily crawlers are hosted and written in Google App Script and I’m using Notion to save all the data about jobs and companies. I also built a few API endpoints thanks to Autocode (one of the most underrated tools out there in my opinion!)
I connected Webflow with all the other tools of Karma Driven’s stack using custom code. I also developed some sync scripts between Notion and Webflow’s CMS.
I also considered Supabase for the application back-end, and I may use it if I have to restart everything from scratch. Mailjet has been great to work with because their API and their templating language is really easy to use.
For some front-end needs — like filters — I’m using Finsweet scripts. It was a real game-changer for me, these guys are killing it honestly!
A word of advice if you’re building a no-code business: Don't use too many different tools in your tech stack! We have a lot at Karma Driven and it is not always easy to manage all of them. Keep it lean, it will save you a lot of time!
Standing out is a challenge
HRtech is hot, startups and candidates are flooded with hiring initiatives. It’s hard to explain why you're different, and how your company is able to tackle the well-known hiring pain points in a unique way.
I think copywriting can really help us stand out, and it was a challenge to do this for our landing page. We still have a lot of things to improve in order to catch people’s attention and popularise our value proposition.
Thanks for sharing your story with us, Florent! You can follow his work here.