Like A Girl

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Is there a better way to find jobs?

What sucks the joy out of the job search? For me, one of the factors is receiving seemingly promising emails about job opportunities, only to find that they’re completely irrelevant.

Chances are, something like this has passed through your inbox:

Hi There,

Company A is recruiting for x position.
[2 more lines about Company A and how good it is.]

Would you be interested in having a call with us for the position?


Random Person

This email likely came from someone who has absolutely no idea:

a) Whether or not you’re looking for a new opportunity
b) What you’re really good at
c) If you even care about Company A / the industry/the problem they are solving?

This largely summarizes the recruiting scene today. Recruiters and hiring managers are primarily relying on your LinkedIn and similar sites to source new hires. While that may seem like a good idea, they miss the mark — they don’t really know you . So you end up getting worthless emails from hiring managers (like the one above) because they are mostly shooting in the dark to scope you out.

Recruiting is extremely hard, and, from my observation, nothing yet has really cracked the code.

Let’s look into why recruiting is missing the mark —

1. Companies don’t have the right information about you:

If you’re like many, LinkedIn is the primary source of applicable data you’ve put online for recruiters to pull from. But, on the whole, it’s not really working to highlight what your strengths are. Sure, LinkedIn makes parts of your resume transparent, but, even if you’ve bothered to keep your resume up to date, those details are unsearchable and buried within your profile. Furthermore, endorsements of skills on LinkedIn are often inaccurate and irrelevant for many reasons — the biggest being most of the endorsements don’t come from people who you have worked it.

2. People/algorithms aren’t good at calibrating skill:

When it comes to measuring competency, most people/algorithms succeed in many quantitative measures (time spent working, years of experience, GPA, how good are you in solving algorithms as an engineer etc.) but fail to account for huge areas of interpersonal skill, emotional intelligence, and ability to work as a team.

To be fair, it’s hard to know what you are good at. Are you a product manager who can help create products in a new market or do you have a knack for taking a product that’s rough around the edges and helping it scale? Are you good at convincing people who don’t share your point of view?

3. Job descriptions are not targeted to job seekers:

As job seekers, we are looking for a few lines on a) what the company does, b) what is needed for the role, and c) what the role entails.

What we often get instead are long bullet points or paragraphs, which send us sifting to find the details we actually want to know.

Take the following, for example. The listing below is for a product manager role, yet most of the details included are understood by product managers by default. The rest are actually not even needed at this stage for someone who is browsing for jobs.

Example Job Listing for Product Manager for Twitter:

What I am instead interested in knowing is: What are the current problems a company has and how I can help solve them?Do they not have a product manager right now for this area? Has it been that the product area was so large that it needs two product managers? What am I owning? What are the metrics that are important to my job?

4. Skills are nuanced:

When people say they want an “engineer” or “designer” or “product manager” they want someone who will contribute in those areas but come with multiple skills.

A lot of designers I know also know how to code, write good copy and understand how to look at data. They, however, choose to use all these skills to contribute as a designer.

Skills aren’t one dimensional, so it takes a lot of nuance to understand what a given role is looking for and how someone fit into it. It’s no longer an issue of matching one skill to a job, but understanding what the job needs and how a person’s skill set could potentially contribute.

5. Companies don’t know what you’re looking for:

Everyone has different criteria for their ideal job, and that information isn’t apparent anywhere to recruiters. Some people care more about compensation, some about brand name of the company (like people will work for Google with no clue of what they will work on and interview for them), some about growth potential, and others about the specific role. It’s hard to know what you’re looking for and which jobs will be the right fit.

Knowing how frustrating the process is has made me want to find a way to help job seekers match their skills and interests to the right roles. I’m working on a new way to a) make the process less tiresome and b) better match people’s skills and interest to current company needs.

Are you someone who’s skills are truly not reflected in Linkedin? Who’s looking for the next opportunity but there’s too much noise? If the answer to any of the questions is yes and you would love to hear about opportunities personalized to you, please sign up here.

If you are a company looking for a new way to hire, please sign up here.