The technologies of job placement continue in 2014 to rapidly evolve. Hundreds of technology entrepreneurs are introducing new products and approaches to knock off firms that have dominated the job placement industry in the past few years, including Monster.com and LinkedIn.
One of the new job placement technologies is by Ascendify, a California-based cloud software company. It enables companies to move away from job listings in favor of developing a “talent community”. Jobs are not listed on company job boards or external internet job boards. Rather persons interested in working for a company log on to become an Insider and interact with existing company employees. Through the interaction the job seekers are able to show their passion and expertise for the company’s product or service, and how they can add value to the company.
Zappos, the online shoe company, in May publicized its use of the Ascendify technology. Zappos executives announced that they would no longer post job openings, but instead rely on this online talent community. Persons interested in working for Zappos could sign to be kept in touch with company products and activities, and to interact with company insiders.
Zappos officials told Kathleen Pender of the San Francisco Chronicle that the company received job applications from more than 31,000 people last year and hired 1.5%. “That means it had to reject 30,000 people—including current or potential customers”, Ms. Pender noted of the ill will possibly engendered as well as the time the company spent.
This movement away from job boards will be positive for job seekers in a number of ways. As has been widely noted, most job boards have become black holes for resumes. Job seekers submit tens of resumes, and rarely hear back. California employers are overwhelmed by resumes, sorting through resumes.
The Zappos process empowers job seekers to be more active participants in job search. Say you are a big fan of the retailer Urban Outfitters. Today if you want to work for Urban Outfitters, you go through an online job application and resume process. You are unlikely to get an interview, or even a response. Through this “talent community” process, you would be able to log in as an Urban Outfitters Insider and show your enthusiasm for the product, put forward ideas for product design or marketing. You may be able to carve out a position, even one that might start part-time or on a project basis.
The internet job boards have brought value to the job search process in enabling job seekers to identify a large number of openings in a short period of time, and apply with a click. But this ease of application also has brought the black hole effect. The talent community approach of Zappos is a step forward in fighting back against the black hole effect.