February 28, 2024

Site Analysis: Trying to Be a Match.com for Employers and Employees

Site Analysis

What’s wrong with this Web site?

After Helen Rosen was laid off in 2008, she found herself frustrated by the job search process. Ms. Rosen, who had worked in the financial industry for 15 years, didn’t get the results she was hoping for from online job boards. In fact, she found the process of matching jobs to job seekers terribly inefficient.

“I quickly realized there was no good way for companies to get a good selection of candidates,” she said. “Hiring managers were drowning in an overwhelming number of candidates applying for each position and most of them were not suited for the positions they were applying for.”

Out of this frustration came the inspiration for a new Web company: Direct Approach Solutions. “My goals were twofold, altruistic and for business reasons,” Ms. Rosen said. “I wanted to truly offer a better way to match candidates to job openings that’s not being done, and I wanted to have and run my own business.”

Because Ms. Rosen’s background was in finance and not technology, she hired a software developer to create the engine and algorithm behind the site and to design the site as well. She says she is particularly pleased with the underlying software and believes that it does an excellent job of matching candidates and employers. “Having worked with many systems and processes over the years,” she posted on her site, “I was able to take the best attributes of job boards, recruiting firms and recruitment software to create this unique product that will provide companies with qualified candidates through precision selectivity. This, in conjunction with a team of professionals who will interact directly with companies and candidates to help ‘seal the deal,’ will help facilitate the hiring process.”

The concept behind the site is to use multiple matching points — education, specific skills, willingness to travel, industry experience, overall experience — to find matches between what employers require and what job seekers offer. Because Ms. Rosen considered matching employers and job seekers to be very similar to matching romantic hopefuls, she looked at sites like Match.com and eHarmony.com for inspiration.

The site remains very much in the beta stage. To save money, Ms. Rosen decided to introduce it within a limited geographic area (the New York/New Jersey/Connecticut tristate area) and with a limited selection of job opportunities (just the financial field for now). Job seekers can use the site free. Eventually, employers will be asked to pay $695 per posting, but during the beta stage they can post free of charge.

The site offers a detailed questionnaire for both job seekers and employers. Upon completion of the questionnaire, the application is considered for approval by Ms. Rosen. Approvals or rejections are promised within 48 hours. “First, I review all candidate profiles and résumés, as part of the candidate-approval process,” she said. “Not all candidates are approved. Then, I also review the employer’s profile and matches, and contact them to make sure that the matches are what they were looking for, and how we can modify the profile to get a better selection.”

The site tries to set itself apart on an internal page, “How We Compare,” that can be accessed through a top-level navigation link on the home page. The message stresses “precision targeting.” Other messaging elements include video on the homepage, where Ms. Rosen explains the theory behind the site, and a blog, where she comments on employment-related news stories.

Because of her lack of financing, Ms. Rosen is working with a bare-bones marketing budget and has hired a social media consultant to help her spread the word on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. The most effective platform to date, she said, has been LinkedIn. Her search-engine optimization efforts have been rudimentary, and she has yet to try any paid search advertising.

Now it’s your turn to take a test drive. Please check out the design, the navigation, the registration process and Ms. Rosen’s social media and marketing efforts. Some questions worth addressing might include:

  • Does the site instill confidence?
  • Do you believe in the business model?
  • Do the design and navigation work?
  • Does the domain name work?
  • How easy was the registration process?
  • Do you think the site was introduced prematurely?

Next week, we’ll collect highlights from your comments, I’ll offer some of my own impressions, and we’ll get Ms. Rosen’s reactions as well.

Would you like to have your business’s Web site or mobile app critiqued? This is an opportunity for companies looking for an honest (and free) appraisal of their online presence and marketing efforts. The process may not be painless, but it can be helpful.

To be considered, please tell me about your experiences — why you started your site, what works, what doesn’t, why you would like to have the site reviewed — in an e-mail to youretheboss@bluefountainmedia.com.

Gabriel Shaoolian is the founder and chief executive of Blue Fountain Media, a Web design, development and marketing company based in New York.

Article source: http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=a8b411c9c37f36098815a823a477016b

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