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Prior to jobdreaming, Keren Douek came from the recruiting industry where she worked for Kforce, iSearch and Top Producers recruiting for a variety of roles and levels across the country. Keren joined jobdreaming because she’s passionate about better tools and solutions for connecting job seekers with jobs, and vice-versa for connecting employers with job seekers.
Jobdreaming.com is a startup focused on developing new and better ways to help employers and recruiters make better hiring decisions. Founded in 2012, jobdreaming is an innovative way of sourcing candidates that filters out the noise and provides employers and recruiters with perfect matches. It’s quick and easy to use (takes no more than 60 seconds). Plus, for candidates, it’s quick, easy and confidential to use, so they can tell us the exact positions they’re looking for.
Gus: Can you talk a bit about the concept behind jobdreaming and what influenced your decision to make the process free of resumes?
Keren: I love recruiting, and I’ve had the opportunity to work with a variety of great recruiting tools, but I couldn’t get over the fact that the tools we’re using – job boards, applicant tracking systems, social media – all have huge amounts of data, but recalling the data effectively is such a challenge. You have recruiters training to be “Boolean blackbelts” so they can come up with the right keyword combinations to find candidates who don’t even know they should be focusing on keywords when crafting a resume. The entire system seems very archaic.
When I got connected with jobdreaming, I loved their approach of taking the resume out of the process. When it comes to matching candidates with jobs, the resume is pretty much the worst tool you could choose. Recruiters and employers want to know things like a candidate’s availability, skills, salary requirements, etc… But instead of providing answers, candidates are advised to jumble the information into a document, leaving some of the most important details off altogether, and then file it on a job board or into an applicant tracking system – where it gathers dust waiting for a recruiter to come up with the right combination of keywords to access it. It’s kind of insane when you think about it.
That’s exactly what got us started on jobdreaming. We’re taking the resume out of the equation so that we can keep the data fresh and at your fingertips, instead of hidden behind keywords.
Gus: How is jobdreaming innovating how people approach their job search?
Keren: jobdreaming is changing the whole concept of job search altogether — there is no searching. When a candidate is tasked with searching for a job, it’s time-consuming, frustrating and often fruitless. They need to build a resume and cover letter, they need to search for jobs, and they need to endure lengthy application processes. They also need to put their current job at risk, if they’re employed. It’s daunting, to say the least.
We took the searching out of the candidate’s hands. There’s no reason we can’t handle that piece of the puzzle. It’s important to us to keep the candidate’s upfront time investment as minimal as possible. Why should we put candidates through a grueling application if we may not have a matching position for them? Instead, we ask candidates to complete one fill-in-the-blank question: What do you want to be doing? It literally takes 30 seconds. Then, when a matching job arises, we invite the candidate to log back in and answer a few more relevant questions to see whether they’re qualified for that position.
Honestly, the saying ‘searching for a job is a fulltime job’ kind of makes me mad, because it shouldn’t be a full time job. It’s a full time job because the process is inefficient. You should be able to look for a job without investing all of your time into it, and without risking your day job. We’re seeing a huge response from passive candidates who are happily employed – because who wouldn’t take 30 seconds to sign up confidentially just in case their dream job were to open up? And that’s a big deal. It’s important to enable people to be proactive about their job search. There’s no question the best time to look for a job is while you’re currently employed. Even if you have no desire to make a move anytime in the near future, you have no idea when that perfect next opportunity is going to pop up, or when you may need to look for a new job.
Searching for a job shouldn’t be a fulltime job for active candidates, either. Having candidates search through pages and pages of job listings is not efficient. Then they get to the job postings and it’s unclear whether or not they may qualify for the position. A job posting can be pages long, and essentially a shopping list that may be completely unrealistic. As a recruiter, you try to push back and find out what items are absolute must-haves, and which are really ‘nice to have.’ There’s a huge difference. But candidates don’t get that information from a job posting, so essentially they’re stuck with either taking a chance and applying even though they don’t meet all of the criteria – investing time and energy on the application process; or they skip it because they don’t meet all of the criteria listed, and they end up missing out on a position they could have been considered for. With jobdreaming, we push the employers and recruiters to drill down to the absolute must-haves when posting a job. Essentially they need to say, “I only want to see candidates who have X, Y, and Z,” understanding that they will not see candidates who fall outside that range. By doing so, we remove the guesswork. If a candidate has X, Y and Z, we pass them to the recruiter. If not, we don’t. It really doesn’t need to be more complicated than that when it comes to the high-level matching. The “nice to haves” can be identified further down the line, but upfront it’s about identifying whether or not candidates qualify for the position. That’s all.
Gus: Can you elaborate on how is jobdreaming different than a traditional recruitment site?
Keren: Here’s how traditional recruitment sites work: You spend your time building advanced search queries to pull up loads of resumes. You pay to view those resumes, even though you may discover that they don’t match once you open them up. You then spend hours going through them to identify which resumes may have potential. After that you spend hours contacting those candidates to get the information which is not covered on a resume or is not current. jobdreaming wrecks that entire process. A recruiter’s time shouldn’t be spent scouring resumes and putting out 100 phone calls, or 500 spammy emails. You can simultaneously automate that piece of the puzzle while also structuring it so that it’s not spammy. If a recruiter has an opening, it takes them less than a minute to enter it on jobdreaming, and then the system automatically identifies which candidates should be notified, and those candidates actually log back in and answer the recruiter’s questions, confirm that they’re available and interested in the position, and provide their contact information. The difference is night and day. We’re not providing recruiters with stale resumes that tell half an old story. We’re offering recruiters current data tailored to their specific opening.
Gus: What does your current marketing strategy look like? How much are you leveraging social media to spread the word about jobdreaming?
Keren: Social media has to be a key element of any recruiting strategy these days. Currently, we’re working closely with employers and recruiters to jointly spread the word about their jobs, and jobdreaming. Lots of recruiters use social media to announce their jobs, but the next step gets fuzzy. You can see a tweet of a job that looks interesting, but you won’t know whether or not it’s worth your time. With jobdreaming, a recruiter can tweet a job and direct candidates to jobdreaming – candidates are more likely to check it out if it only takes them 30 seconds to apply. jobdreaming inherently lends itself well to social media because it’s quick and easy. We’ve used social media sites heavily to drive traffic to jobdreaming, and we’re seeing a great response. Our marketing strategy also includes of a mix of online advertising and direct marketing. Overall we’re finding that the message is so clear and easy to grasp that people are willing to give it a chance.
Gus: What do you think are some of the biggest challenges facing the recruitment industry?
Keren: The recruitment industry is in a really interesting place right now. It’s poised to change dramatically at any moment, and everyone can sort of feel that pent up energy. Yet, at the same time, it’s stuck in place. You cannot stop hearing about the latest and greatest recruiting tools that are going to change the industry, but when you try them out, they’re fluff because they’re all focusing on bells and whistles instead of tackling the real issue. When it comes to recruiting, it’s always going to come down to the matching. You can add all of the bells and whistles you want, but if you’re not providing better matches you’re not moving the needle. The biggest challenge facing the recruiting industry is that while change is in the air, we’re still approaching the problems with the same tools. It’s the actual building blocks that need to be gutted. Every tool is still reliant on keywords and resumes, resulting in mismatches. Until you change that, nothing is going to change.
Gus: What advice would you give to someone who is interested in changing industries but feels intimidated by the process?
Keren: It really depends on the role. Obviously with some roles it’s much more challenging to change industries, but the best advice I can give is to focus on the experience you have that is transferrable. When you read through a job description, highlight the points that speak to your skills, even if the environment or tools are different. If you’re in an interview, and you’re asked whether you have experience gathering requirements from business users, and you have absolutely no experience to draw upon, come up with the closest experience you have that utilizes the same skills they’re looking for. Perhaps you were involved in taking orders or managing client expectations. If you can hone in on the skills they’re looking for and draw a parallel to your experience, that’s going to be your best bet. There will be times when they’ll consider someone without specific industry experience, and there will be times when they absolutely won’t, and there isn’t much you can do about that except make your best case.
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