With technology we go through cycles. First there is disruptive innovation when new technologies emerge, and it’s raw and available to anyone to use and experiment. Then expansion when people start to actually apply the new technology in meaningful ways. Eventually we get to stabilization when the technology becomes more commonplace and mainstream.
For example: the fax machine made it possible to digitize a resume, then came scanning/extraction, online applications, and eventually the career portal became a permanent module of the ATS. While this cycle of innovation, expansion, and stabilization was exciting for us HR professionals, it really did not do all that much for the candidates. They got automated rejection emails at best.
Over the last five years we have seen an explosion in the use of social media in recruiting. It has been pretty raw and available to anyone to experiment with. We are definitely in the expansion phase and have seen our fair share of interesting applications- most of which has been focussed on helping employers.
Well, finally someone is thinking about the job seeker side of the equation. Today Chris Forman and Tim McKegney will be launching StartWire, a next generation application that makes the candidate’s life a little easier. Chris gave me a preview of the product over the weekend and I am more than impressed.
StartWire offers some things that have already been done, but never before has it all been pulled together in one place for the job seeker. You should check it out and judge for yourself because I only know a fraction. Here are some of the things I saw that make it unique and interesting:
Social Networking – You can log in using your Linked-In or Facebook profile and it will analyze your connections so they can be leveraged in your job search. You can see in the screen shot below how it shows me higher value target companies and the most connected people in my network.
Privacy – While using Linked-In to get a job is great, your activity is pretty public. Kind of like having your resume posted on Monster. This is a way to leverage your network in a private location – and only those you want to know see your activity.
Corporate Career Site Aggregation - It will display jobs to you based on your location and what you are looking for. You can create a “like” list and come back later, or indicate you have already applied. It is essentially a way to track all of the various applications you have submitted through corporate career sites in one location.
Black Hole Buster – For many of the jobs you have applied to, Startwire has a method of providing you with updates on your candidate status. For any job with the binocular icon in the screen shot above, your status can be tracked.
Free to Candidates – While this is a phenomenal tool for candidates, the business model will make it free to use, now and forever.
Finally, what makes StartWire stand out in my mind is that it does not fit into any of my existing categories. It’s not a job board, not a social network, not a resume database or sourcing engine. The only other product I can think of that has some similar characteristics is Climber.com whose mission is to connect candidates to recruiters and hiring managers. I am not sure two products make a category, but I created a new “job seeker” category under Recruiting on the Mega List just so I could add them.
Look for the StartWire press release today, check them out and let me know what you think.