If I see one more job board or “social networking community” aimed at connecting young professionals with employers, I might scream. (Actually, I’ve already screamed, so I will probably do something worse.) There are dozens (if not more) of companies out there creating essentially the same product. The result? The market is saturated and segmented — there are too many options from which to choose for both job seekers and employers, which leads to the two parties never truly connecting at all.
Back when Come Recommended was a social networking community, I switched gears as soon as I realized there were (1) other companies out there doing it better and (2) two many cooks in the kitchen. I realize we live in a capitalist society and I cannot possibly convince people to stop starting these businesses that do in fact make them money. But perhaps I can convince you — job seekers and employers — to stop using these tools. Why? Because, for the most part, only the the companies that make the tools are benefiting, not you.
Now, I’m not saying all job search tools are bad. (In fact, I have a piece on USNews.com about some new job search technologies that I really like!) But when I stopped being able to count the tools that did the exact same thing on both my fingers and toes…that’s where the problem lies for me.
If these companies really wanted to help you instead of just fill their pockets with cash, they’d figure out a way to get the two of you — job seekers and employers — talking to each other. Stop creating tools that perpetuate the black hole!
Employers: You worry that conversations will take more time than reviewing resumes, and perhaps that’s true in some cases. But what is the true cost of a new hire? And turnover? Getting it right the first time pays dividends, and making a resume gut call is not the best way to get it right.
Job seekers: You just want to be noticed. Millions of other people are using job boards and social networking communities to find jobs, so you’re not going to stand out that way. What will make you stand out? The opportunity to present yourself as the solution to a company’s problem(s). Best way to do this? Start a conversation.
To be clear, I’m suggesting a three-part solution:
- Give job seekers direct access to employers on your password-protected, members-only site via something that resembles an online chat room. Employers can either set “office hours” or be available for a one-time appearance. The chat log would remain with the job ad as long as the job ad remained on the site.
- Create criteria employers have to follow when submitting job ads, including identifying the organization’s problem they are looking for the job seeker to solve. Then, provide a way for job seekers to present themselves as the solution, perhaps 99designs-style.
- Enable your site to become an ATS and/or connect to an organization’s already-existing ATS so candidates can be immediately updated of their status in the hiring process.
Job seekers and employers need to get to know each other better in order to get America back to work. What are you doing to help?