Case #3 – Jobs2Web
(third in a series of pieces discussing why HR solutions need radical reengineering)
There is a great maxim in IT circles called Fubini’s Law. It goes like this:
“ 1. People initially use technology to do what they do now - but faster.
2. Then they gradually begin to use technology to do new things.
3. The new things change life-styles and work-styles.
4. The new life-styles and work-styles change society
… and eventually change technology.”
Fubini's Law, when applied to HR technologies, is dictating some changes that must take place in the HR solutions market. Specifically, early generations of HR technology accomplish part one of Fubini’s Law very well. Unfortunately, too many HR solution providers are still stuck in the first part. Customers of HR solutions though are well into the second phase. Customers are using (and in some cases overusing) these HR technologies to an extreme. It is in the extreme that we see how these technologies must change.
For a very clear example of this, let's look at Jobs2Web.
Jobs2Web exists because too many predecessor HR solutions have been too successful. Jobseekers now look for new employment in a host of locations not just on the old tried-and-true newspaper classified ads. Print advertising was supplanted with online job boards which were supplanted with social networks (e.g., LinkedIn) which are being heavily disintermediated by search engines today.
How successful have these utilities been? There may be between 20,000-40,000 job boards in North America alone. Almost every professional society, college alumni group, fraternity, etc. seems to offer one. Unique job sites for active job seekers exist in large numbers and now sites that target passive job seekers are catching up in popularity. Social networks have caught on in a big way in recent years with many newer generation job seekers finding employment through sites such as Facebook and MySpace. The proliferation of places where jobs may be posted is making the process of finding a job or potential employees harder not easier.
But all of these choices are creating problems for employers. Traditional job boards often generate hundreds of resumes for an open position; however, only a handful of the responses may originate from qualified jobseekers. Sites that were originally designed to help job seekers are being misused by professional recruiters, identity thieves and others. Businesses are adapting their practices and many firms put prospective employees through a rigorous online application process that feeds their applicant tracking system.
The current solutions are no longer generating the desired results for both employers and applicants and it needs to change now. Specifically, the following changes are required:
• Highly qualified jobseekers are frustrated by the difficulty present in finding open positions in firms with internal applicant tracking systems. For an applicant to even find an open position in a firm, it may take 20 or more mouse clicks to locate the appropriate open spot listed on the company's website. Once located, the applicant may need to complete an extensive application and click through dozens of additional panels. A passive job seeker may find the experience too much work and too frustrating to continue. Only the most desperate and/or unemployed will put up with this. The bottom line is that companies aren't attracting the best quality candidates for their open positions.
• The volume of unqualified resumes submitted to generalized job boards (and eventually to the corporate recruiters) is out of control. Unqualified or marginally qualified applicants deluge corporate recruiters with resumes that must be reviewed even though the applicant will never be considered for an interview. While resume scanning technology exists and can take out some of the clutter, a better solution is required to stop these pointless submissions in the first place.
• While virtually all employers know of the generalized job boards, they may not know of all of the relevant niche boards they should be listing their job opportunities in instead.
Jobs2Web has rethought the environment and developed a different solution. The first thing one should realize about this solution is that it sees search engines like Google as a key component in the future of job searching and job matching. The concept Jobs2Web is deploying assumes that jobseekers will go to Google first and type in a search request such as: “emergency room nurse Memphis Tennessee”. If employers seeking this type of candidate in this market had built an optimized webpage with just this content, the only people who will respond to such a search will be those specifically interested in this very niche position. Jobs2Web does this and does it well because it knows how to optimize its search engine placement.
But, there's more to it than simple SEO. When someone clicks on this position, it should take them directly to the specific ATS page in the employer’s own website. The intent here is to eliminate a lot of needless clicks and irrelevant page views that distract or frustrate a prospective applicant.
Jobs2Web helps employers optimize their recruiting spend by insuring more, relevant candidates see their listings. This is accomplished by creating a recruiting environment where employers continuously communicate with current, past and future job seekers through their targeted talent landing pages.
The software also uses the power of existing employees’ social networks to drive additional relevant individuals into their talent landing pages. Use of these employee networks brings higher quality passive candidates into the recruiting process.
Applicants/job seekers win in this environment as they are exposed to highly relevant positions where they are only competing with other relevant candidates. Applicants have opportunities pushed to them proactively. Applicants also do not have to look at dozens of general and vertically specific job boards to find out about some of the offerings in their area, industry, etc.
Is this the final reengineering needed in this space? Fubini’s Law absolutely suggests that it won’t be and I’d agree. But, for now, it’s better than the status quo.