by Rakesh Sharma
Published on 25 October 2011
Lets talk jobs today. That word seems to be everywhere from eulogies for the Apple genius to President Obama's recent jobs bill to revive the U.S. economy. However, we are concerned about a different kind of job. The sort that helps pay your bills and run the world economy.
As someone who has jumped around quite a few jobs, I can vouch that the hiring process can be a painful one. During my job search, I mostly vented my frustration at the human resources department within organizations. Their response was to point out constraints in their system. This week, we will look at a solution that unshackles them from these constraints. We will review JobPage.com - an online applicant tracking and posting system. We will look at its interface, functionality, and see how it can be of use to you.
Matthew Ogston, founder of JobPage.com, says the site was born out of personal experience. For context, Ogston worked as a manager with a large recruitment agency in Europe. The problems started when Ogston wanted to expand his team. "Even with the help of their recruitment agents, I was having problems recruiting for my own team within the company," he says. So, Ogston leveraged his former experience of developing PageDo - a platform for building landing pages about marketing campaigns - to find a solution.
"Over the next twelve months, we (Ogston and his team) went heads down into full development mode," he says. "We bought the JobPage.com domain, rewrote our platform, and developed the JobPage applicant tracking application," he says. They had a working prototype within a few months and a full working version by the end of that year.
Ogston says JobPage is for companies which want to hire staff directly. The math for direct recruitment works out especially well in these recessionary times. Ogston calculates companies can shave off a flat 20 percent from recruiting costs by eliminating agents. "That's $14,000 commission on a $70,000 salary," he says.
According to Ogston, the value of JobPage lies in delivering a cost-effective and holistic solution to find, recruit, and hire employees. This means that JobPage provides all the benefits of using a staffing agency at reduced prices, including tracking job applications, managing communications between company and candidate, and researching candidate background "without the hiring manager lifting a finger."
WORKING WITH JobPage
The thing to remember about JobPage is that it is a platform. This means that it is a separate system alongside your existing system (if you have one). The flow is fairly simple. Once you sign up for the service, each company is provided a JobPage micro-site, where they can post, market, and vet jobs. Posting a job is a simple matter of filling out a form with details. The next step is marketing these positions.
"JobPage is a pro-active and reactive recruitment service," says Ogston. "There is no point using a fancy applicant tracking system if no one comes across your advertisement." So, the system distributes jobs via social networks, job boards, and email. In addition, Ogston says the site has also developed relationships with a number of technology and marketing sites.
The site also constructs candidate profiles once the resumes pour in. The job discovery engine builds an online social profiles consisting of candidate activity across multiple social networks and sites. Ogston says there are two benefits to this. First, it helps understand the candidate better. Second, it is a massive time saver for most HR managers.
Upon receiving this assignment, one of my first orders of business was to create a profile and post a job. My job posting received quite a few views from perspective candidates, not a bad thing for a site that is still in private beta.
Another fact to note is the site's focus on technology and marketing roles. Is it a niche area for the site?
"We live and breathe technology and marketing," is how Ogston explains it. "For the foreseeable future, we expect to remain focused on these areas to ensure that we deliver the best possible service to our clients."
The site has a variety of job plans for all company sizes. For example, the Bootstrapper plan is ideally suited for small companies starting out and needing to hire just one member of staff. In addition, the company also offers a managed service plan. The plan works as a personalized job search: the site works with clients to craft compelling job descriptions to increase application rates and sell roles to potential candidate. Sounds like a traditional recruitment agency? "We don't charge a commission!" says Ogston.
THE BASICS: WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE?
The site has a simple and elegant feel. The dashboard provides a snapshot of your job details including site hits, task lists, and activity. The horizontal menu bar at the top enables global navigation. The entire look-and-feel is that of a simple system.
This is one area of the site that could do with more. The service provides help via email, phone, and twitter. However, according to the support page, email support is the preferred format. This means that phone responses are generally limited to urgent issues. Considering the time-sensitive nature of most postings (and considering the volume of applications received for each posting), it might be an idea to enable more streams of support. In addition, a couple of videos detailing the service in action might not hurt!
IS IT FOR YOU?
In these recessionary times, the value proposition for the site is compelling. Recruitment agencies add another cost layer to the recruiting process, thus inflating candidate acquisition costs. JobPage.com is worth a try, if only as an experiment. Who knows you might end up getting hooked onto it?