Fintech unicorn Revolut is taking some heat for what appears to be a clumsy recruitment tactic that may backfire. First reported in Spanish news site ElDiario, the digital bank has apparently requested applicants for a open position to work for free and provide 200 bank account signups before being hired to prove their dedication to the brand.
According to a tweet by Emiliano Mellino, the plan is described as follows:
[Revolut] asks job applicants to work for free recruiting at least 200 new customers to have a chance at getting a job. This is happening in Spain where unemployment is over 15% and people are desperate for a job.
The task given to the applicants involves getting new customers to click on a promo code and top up at least EUR 10 into the app. That means that your average applicant that gets 200 sign-ups is securing at least £2,000 in new deposits for the bank before they even earn a penny.
Hipster bank @RevolutApp asks job applicants to work for free recruiting at least 200 new customers to have a chance at getting a job. This is happening in Spain where unemployment is over 15% and people are desperate for a job. @jamie_woodcock @n_srnck @geoplace @tom_swing https://t.co/VCalykUiZz
— Emiliano Mellino (@Mellino) October 22, 2018
According to ElDiario, the applicant in question explained:
“If I wanted to make progress and be valued for the position of responsible for the business in Spain, I had to pass a test: get at least 200 new customers to download the bank’s app, open an account, put ten euros and ask for a card that would arrive by mail days later.”
In a quoted email, Andrius Biceika, Head of Businesss Development at Revolut, defended the practice saying they have received only a single complaint regarding the task. He also claims he signed up over 5000 new accounts before he joined Revolut. The email states:
“Apologies you’re not up to show what you’re capable of this is virtual set up and all the best!”
But could the hiring stunt have the opposite impact? Could the work for free request drive new customers away?
Christine Ng called the request “the worst take home task ever,” while stating she was boycotting Revolut.
— Christine Ng (@xtine08) October 25, 2018
The hiring tactic has opened up Revolut to unwanted criticism. Revolut is still a challenger bank but no longer really a start up as it is valued at over $1 billion. CI has reached out to Revolut for feedback on the recruitment tactic and hope to be able to report back with more information.
Update: a Revolut spokesperson has contacted CI and provided the following statement:
“The home task has been removed as it does not reflect our company values. We have reached out personally to the candidate to apologise, and to thank her for bringing this to our attention. We will be developing alternate ways to test candidates’ ability for future home tasks.”
So no more pre-hire homework for individuals seeking a job at Revolut. And that’s a good thing.