What a way to kick off 2013: launching a new product, demoing it to thousands of NYC job seekers at Job Central, and receiving invaluable on-the-spot feedback!
Last year, as the online world started to rapidly shift away from PCs and desktops and towards the mobile world of smartphones and tablets, our product and tech teams sat down to examine how well we were serving job seekers in this new era. The answer? Not very well. So, we rolled up our sleeves and revamped the product from the ground up, focusing on three goals:
1. TheLadders should be accessible and usable anytime, anywhere.
2. The platform needs to be efficient and save job seekers’ valuable time.
3. Leveraging the knowledge and data we have about the job search, the product needs to shed light on what happens with job applications. It must reduce the “black hole,” what we’ve come to call the recruiter and company unresponsiveness many job seekers have encountered.
Scores of prototypes, dozens of usability tests, and several releases later, here’s what we are now able to offer:
(1) Job matches tailored to the desired next step in your career. So much time is wasted running searches over and over, trying to determine how the search interface and algorithms work so you can get it to display the jobs that actually interest you. We wanted to cut out the unnecessary work, and deliver you relevant jobs on a daily basis.
Job Goals, shown in the left column, drive the job matches you will receive. As you use TheLadders, we continuously learn about your preferences, and optimize the matching algorithms to be more relevant to your specific needs.
(2) TheLadders Scout gives you an unprecedented, behind-the-scenes look into the job market and reveals what happens with job applications. Scout shows you who else is interested in the same job, as well as who already has applied. For each applicant, you can see an anonymous profile, showing you their previous experience and areas of expertise. To better understand how you compare to the other applicants, we also aggregated the information about their current salary, years of experience, and education level, and indicated where you rank within the group. As I spoke with job seekers at Grand Central about this game-changing feature, it was clear this type of information can have many uses:
- See your competition for a position. There may be “50 applicants,” but are they equally as qualified as you? You can use this information to gauge whether you want to apply to the position.
- If you choose to apply, you can use Scout to tailor your application and cover letter to highlight the ways in which you stand out from the competition and confirm why you’re the best fit for the job.
- After you apply, Scout will continue to provide updates with information about other applicants, and will include any feedback they’ve received from recruiters. So again, there may be 50 applicants, but if half of them were told by recruiters that they’re not the best fit, then they’re not competition you have to worry about. And, if you haven’t gotten any feedback yourself, Scout can illuminate why – are there already too many applicants for this opening? Are you perhaps under- or over-qualified compared to other applicants?
The anonymous profile on the left provides a sense of other applicants. On the right, you can see the aggregate information, with the orange carrot indicating where you rank.
(3) Last but not least, TheLadders is now accessible anytime, anywhere. In the screenshots below, you can see how Scout can be as easily accessed and consumed on your smartphone or tablet as on your desktop.
Selena Hadzibabic heads up the Product team at TheLadders. Having worked on both the job seeker and recruiter side of the product, she is no longer cheer-leading either side: she just wants to put the right people in touch with each other.