Why should we work on improving job search? Why is building a better job website like TrueJob worth doing, when there are already so many out there (Monster, Indeed, and thousands of other niche job boards and recruiting services)?
In spite of the advent of the internet and the proliferation of online job boards – all of which have made it easier than ever for candidates to search for and apply to jobs anywhere in the world – the process of changing jobs or finding a job for the first time remains overwhelming and stressful. The job seekers we’ve spoken to have expressed all kinds of complaints about online job applications: submissions that disappear with no replies, annoying forms that require you to re-enter information that's already present on your resume, and misleading or inaccurate job descriptions.
These are problems with the process, but the consequences of these problems are more troubling. The enormous activation energy required to find and switch jobs leads people to stay unemployed or in jobs that are unsatisfying and a poor match for their skills much longer than they should. Seventy percent of employees in the US report feeling 'not engaged' at their current job. The collective sum of all the apathy and boredom in the workforce represents a massive misallocation of human talent. What is the point of technological advancement and corporate growth if a huge fraction of our population spends most of their waking hours at jobs they don't enjoy?
The disconnect between employees and their employers occurs for many reasons – mismatched skills, poor management, poor work environments, and more. People end up at the wrong jobs for all kinds of reasons as well – short term cash needs, switching into a new career without personal connections, or unclear expectations when applying. However you find yourself in the wrong job, once you realize it’s wrong, the process of finding and moving to a new job should be as painless as possible. Every day spent struggling with the job search process is one day further from a new and more fulfilling career.
We created TrueJob as job seekers ourselves, so the job seeker experience is the top priority. We see two areas for improvement. The first is in the interface for interacting with jobs: how can we make it easier, and more fun, to browse for jobs online? Job seekers we’ve spoken to dread everything about the process: working on their resume, reading job postings, and filling out applications. We want to attack this process and make it, if not fun, at least less frightening. The second is more personal: how can we better understand the skills and personality of candidates, so that when we present them with jobs, they are best aligned with their profile and goals?
These questions guide all of our choices – from what questions to ask job seekers, to the UI/UX, to choices of algorithms to research and implement.
Everyone has jobs during their life that are wrong: the right job at the wrong time, jobs that were once right and aren’t anymore, or jobs that were never right but necessary to pay the bills. Unfortunately most of us stay in the wrong jobs much longer than we should. The unknowns of the job search process and a new employer might be more scary than the known suffering in your current job. Employers suffer too, from poor morale and lost productivity. If the process is improved, both sides win. For an individual, so much time is spent at our jobs that even a small improvement can result in a massive improvement in our lives. Taken across the whole workforce we see a space with the potential for immense positive change.
TrueJob exists to connect people with the right job. We do that with a unique interface that is fun for job seekers to use and helps us get to know them better than other platforms that provide nothing more than a textbox to enter a few keywords. We’d love for you to try us out and give us feedback on the site. Our platform now features Michigan jobs, with a focus on smaller companies and startups. Click here to start browsing jobs.