Mar 30 2010
Just yesterday I stumbled across this New York Times article describing how over-qualified people are taking any job they can get, cuz hey, the economy’s in the tank, and you gotta pay the bills. This particular story has a happy ending: the candidates bring their MBA-honed skills to smaller firms, and get a paycheck in the process, their ego firmly in check. It’s good news for everyone, except for, perhaps, HR departments: in this day and age, with former Silicon Valley CFOs applying for the “Animal Style Sauce Maker” job at In n’ Out Burger, the resumes are piling up. Thousands of resumes. Millions, – no, BILLIONS – of resumes. Towering towers of teetering resumes, threatening to tip over and bury HR ladies in their cubes, such that they’re only discovered two weeks later, frail but cheery, having cheated death by subsisting on wild berries and stale tortilla chips from their bottom desk drawer.
This is a very really and very costly problem that ZipRecruiter addresses. ZipRecruiter is an online tool that eliminates “resume spam” (a real problem, not a condiment) and enables hirers to focus on high-value candidates efficiently and cost-effectively.
ZipRecruiter articulates the process succinctly on their home page:
1. Create a brief online candidate interview
2. Post to multiple job boards with one submission
3. Review candidate answers and resumes online
So I started ZipRecruiting for free by creating an account. I could Create a New Job listing or set up my branding (where I essentially customized the interview template.) I decided to create a job. Here were the steps:
- I entered the job title
- I was provided an interview url that I could send out via emails, etc.
- I was prompted to enter an interview question type (e.g. Free Form text, multiple choice, Yes/No.)
- I chose “Free Form text” and entered my question (“When have you thought outside the box?”; see below) And that was the gist of it.
From my Job Page I could “Close the job” (it was currently “Active”), post it to Job Boards, and View the Candidates who applied. Though I didn’t create a thoroughly robust interview (SlapStart, after all, has hiring freeze until we “re-align” our off-shore financing issues), I imagined a future-state and it was pleasant: more than a third-party hiring agency, employers know what they’re looking for in a candidate. And they can craft interviews that reflect this. And better yet, if crafted properly – say, by using multiple-choice answers; particularly around specific business knowledge and terminology – the tool does all the work by sorting responses accordingly. It’s an automatic vetting machine, and the cream, I imagine, will rise to the top pretty quickly. It also cuts out the middle man – namely, a hiring or temp agency – as the tool is free. Why pay for someone to ask a candidate about their “greatest asset” over and over again, when you can yourself, once, for free?
OK, some quick navigation thoughts:
- Initially when I registered and was prompted to set up my branding, I wasn’t immediately sure what it meant. That screen could perhaps have additional copy to provide guidance (e.g. “Customize your interview template here.”)
- I also wasn’t sure what step was first – is it better to Create a New Job listing first or set up my branding first? Did it matter? Does anything really matter? (I learned it didn’t really matter, but for me, I think setting up the brand should go first.)
So in closing, I ask you to think about how many times a poor hiring professional asked these following questions:
- What skills can you bring to this organization?
- When have you thought outside the box? (fyi: correct answer is “thinking outside the box is actually thinking inside the box.”)
- What would you say is your greatest weakness? (fyi: correct answer is “I love too much.”)
It must get old. Day after day. Every day. Like a cruel version of Groundhog Day. And then the resumes pile up. Towers upon towers of resumes (as I mentioned), threatening to tip over and kill you. Or perhaps you throw all the resumes in a big vat or trash compactor. But then one day on your way to the pantry, you take a wrong turn, and accidentally fall into the vat and suddenly the walls start closing in, like the scene in Star Wars, and you’re going to die. Literally killed by too many resumes (and trash.)
ZipRecruiter prevents this. ZipRecruiter can saves lives. Not bad.