Posted on 11/16/2016

We’ve Come a Long Way, Baby: The Evolution of the Job Search

Wendy Pittman

In the late 1980s, when I was looking for my first job out of college, the newspaper classified ads were the place to search. Just like in the classic movies of the time (i.e. Kramer vs. Kramer), I circled each job of interest with a red pen, wrote an individual cover letter to each company and sent it in, along with my resume, via U.S. mail.

In 1999, Monster launched and the recruitment world changed. Not only did you NOT have to send in cover letters and resumes to each employer via snail mail, you could scan hundreds of jobs in one place and filter based on your specific skills and geographic preferences. The Monster TV Ads were creative and used humor to make everyone feel like there was a place for them in the job market.  

Fast forward to 2016 and the edge of Monster’s innovation has dulled, the online labor market it pioneered is overwhelmed with both jobs and job-seekers. Consider that a typical corporate online job posting receives 250 resumes per position; inundating hiring managers who struggle to evaluate piles of generic resumes that are often coded with keywords that don’t accurately reflect the true skills or interests of the candidate. Job seekers, who have lost control of their job search, feel obliged to submit resume after resume into the black hole of the online job board world with little hope of receiving any response. Though volumes are present on either side of the employment coin, the volume that prevails is the noise of inefficiency, lacking quality over quantity. 

Even with the advancements from paper resumes and red pens to the ability to connect to hundreds of resumes with the click of a button, our expectations of recruiting solutions have increased. Our patience with outdated systems has unsurprisingly worn thin. In an era of skills gaps and misalignments, hiring managers require on-demand access to talent, with the ability to place the right people in the right roles quickly. To achieve this, employers need tools that help them to: 

  1. Define the unique needs of each position
  2. Quickly identify strongly aligned candidates
  3. Engage rich pools of diverse talent
  4. Streamline and centralize the recruiting workflow to hire quality talent faster

Given where we have been and the new sort of chaos we endure in searching for jobs or candidates, can we be so bold as to demand these tools? Without a doubt. 

To combat the noisy, inefficient, and exhaustive nature of the online labor market as we know it, WorkFountain, the technology that powers the Automation Alley Talent Exchange, has developed a blind, correlated platform for any recruiting wheelhouse. Unlike other online recruiting tools, WorkFountain doesn’t use resumes or keyword search engines. Instead, the platform relies on more than 100,000 unique job characteristics to instantly evaluate each candidate. By surveying employers for their position’s unique needs and surveying each job-seeker for his/her related skills and interests, WorkFountain transforms traditional jobs boards into a centralized scoring and ranking engine. The result is that employers receive meticulously pre-screened candidates and job seekers receive job leads that are customized to their individual skills and interests.  

And, the Talent Exchange moniker is not arbitrary. At optimum adoptions levels, the platform’s patent-pending technology replaces traditional jobs boards with an efficient “exchange of talent” and provides a data-driven tool that simplifies and expedites how we match talent with opportunity.

About the Author

Wendy Pittman | WorkFountain

Wendy Pittman is vice president of WorkFountain, the talent matching division of Digerati, Inc., a Detroit-based software development and process engineering firm. With more than 20 years of experience in business operations, nonprofit management and education, Wendy is responsible for operations of the WorkFountain brand, including technology integration, new market cultivation, and partnership implementation. Wendy holds a B.A. in French Literature from Oberlin College and a M.A. degree in International and Comparative Education from Teacher’s College at Columbia University. Wendy has been active in a variety of community groups and currently serves on the board of the Heidelberg Project in Detroit.


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