One tap on your smartphone can get you a pack of toilet paper on Amazon.com or an app download on iTunes.
Increasingly, it can also get you a job.
Snagajob, an Arlington-based technology company with 65 million users, has built a
multimillion-dollar business helping job-seekers find and apply for low-wage, hourly work on their phones. Last year, it introduced a one-click feature that allows users to apply for dozens of openings in a matter of minutes.
Now, armed with a $100 million investment from three firms, the company plans to continue building up its free mobile app, which processed close to 25 million applications for retail, restaurant and hotel jobs in 2015.
“We want people to find an hourly job in minutes,” said Peter Harrison, the company’s chief executive. “That’s always been the idea, but now we are going to double down on our strategy.”
Specifically, he says that means improving upon the app, which allows users to create a quick profile, upload a video of themselves and take a personality quiz before submitting their applications for openings. Nearly 70 percent of the company’s traffic now comes from its app, up from 15 percent two years ago.
The recent round of funding, announced Thursday, was led by Rho Acceleration, a New York-based investment firm, with contributions from NewSpring Capital in Radnor, Pa.
The ultimate goal, Harrison says, is to create a one-stop shop where people can find jobs, manage their schedules, clock in and out of work, and get paid using the mobile app.
“We really want to be a part of that whole life cycle,” he said.
Snagajob, which was founded by an attorney in Richmond in 2000, has grown rapidly in recent years, adding 1 million new members every month. The company has 300 employees split between its Richmond and Arlington offices, and executives say that revenue has doubled since 2013, though they declined to provide specific numbers.
An uneven economic recovery that favored the creation of low-wage jobs over higher-paid positions has helped the company’s bottom line, as has the proliferation of companies such as Uber, Instacart and Postmates, which allow workers to pick up piecemeal hourly work.
“More and more workers are mixing and matching — one shift here, five shifts there — which means employers are having to hire a bigger pool of people,” Harrison said, adding that the company makes money by charging employers to post on its site.
About 50 million applications were submitted through Snagajob last year, with about half of those from its mobile app — but investors say that there is still room to grow.
“This is still a relatively underserved market,” said Habib Kairouz, a managing partner at Rho Acceleration. “It’s amazing how many businesses are still using newspaper ads and walk-ins to find hourly workers.”
There are about 1 million postings on the site at any given time, Harrison said.
A recent search for Washington-area openings turned up more nearly 10,000 jobs, about half of them full-time. They ranged from openings for a meat cutter at a Harris Teeter store in Southeast Washington to a personal shopper for the American Girl store in Tysons Corner. Other jobs included housekeeping positions at Marriott, a job in the beauty department at Kohl’s in Silver Spring and a part-time delivery driver for Rent-A-Center.
Job sites such as Monster.com and Indeed.com have long allowed users to send off résumés with the click of a button. Where Snagajob differs, Harrison says, is that it focuses exclusively on hourly workers and their needs.
“For example, the first thing you see when you log into our app is, ‘What days of the week and times of day are you available?’ ” he said. “Other sites are not going to ask you that — they’re more concerned with salaried jobs and bulky résumés with 10 or 15 years of experience.”
At District Taco, executives are increasingly using Snagajob to find and vet candidates.
“It’s 50-50 — half old-fashioned paper applicants, half online,” said Onye Agu, senior regional manager for the Arlington-based company.
Agu said that he has hired a few employees through Snagajob since he signed up six months ago. Mostly, though, he relies on the app to give him a quick primer on applicants — math and reading level, problem-solving skills, personality tests — before he calls them in for an interview.
“It does help with getting to know people before you meet them,” Agu said. “By the time they come in for an interview, we can have more of a conversation than just asking basic questions.”
But other local employers said that Snagajob’s touch-and-apply approach makes applying for a job perhaps too easy.
“One-click apply, to me, is just the worst,” said the owner of a local quick-service restaurant who spoke on the condition of anonymity in order to avoid upsetting the current business relationship. “It’s a massive waste of time to have to sift through all of these applications from people who couldn’t care less about the job.”
In the four months since he signed up, he has yet to hire anybody through Snagajob.
A few weeks ago, though, he did bring on couple of new employees.
“We did it the old-fashioned way,” he said. “Word-of-mouth and walk-ins who filled out a paper application.”