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Better Boost Your Stats: Gild Turns Hunting For A Tech Job Into A Game

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If you’ve ever gone job hunting online (and who hasn’t these days?) you know just how incredibly inefficient the process can be. Job listings are littered across the web, making it difficult to filter for the ones that match your skillset. And then when you actually go about applying to a job, you have no idea how you stack up against the competition — or even how many other people have applied. Gild is a new site launching today at TechCrunch Disrupt that wants to make the whole process more efficient for technology professionals.. and maybe even a bit more fun.

Gild is social gaming meets career advancement, which sounds like a contradiction but looks like it might just work in practice. The initial process is pretty straightforward: sign up and set up a profile for yourself, listing off each of your skills and your past work history (the site can import your CV and LinkedIn data). And then the real fun begins.

Gild invites companies to set up competitions, like ‘Brain Buster’ programming puzzles. Job-seeking professionals then complete these challenges on the site, receive their scores, and are ranked accordingly. You can engage in multiple competitions to help boost your chances.  In addition to these company-created challenges, Gild will let you improve your profile by completing certification tests and other challenges. Fare well, and you can wear your top-level Java score as a badge of honor. And because it shows recruiters how you fared compared to the competition, the badges actually mean something.

Gild presents your recent activity and new inbound messages in a news feed on your dashboard. The site also helps you take a proactive approach to applying to jobs, presenting openings it thinks you qualify for based on your skill set and recommending more challenges and certification tests to further bolster your profile. The site also tells you how many other people have applied for the same job, and even takes a step at telling you how you compare, based on your stats.

The site is free for job-hunting technology professionals, and charges recruiters.  Hiring managers are willing to pay because they can easily jump between applications and rate them on an objective basis.

Obviously there’s a lot more to nabbing a job than having the requisite skills and online merit badges (the site can’t take your interview for you, after all). But Gild could well help the most qualified job-seekers rise above the throngs of other applications.

Q&A

Julie Schoenfeld : This is a great way to get rid of people who don’t interview well but have great skills. Worry about complexity/behavior changes needed.

John Ham: When you go to market you’ll only have a few chances with employers. It has to work from the get-go.

Don Dodge: You need to get people to use this, how are you going to focus on them?
A: There’s a massive shift in dollars toward social media.. LinkedIn applications are an obvious way to get started.

Loic Lemur – How are you going to spread viraly?
A: We can’t compete against LinkedIn/Facebook in terms of marketing. We have lots of ideas to get people to communicate, compete… Last thing the world needs is another social network. Part of plan is FB/Linkedin Apps.

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