It may not be receiving quite as much media coverage as the VMAs at the moment, but we’re all acutely aware of the fact that the economy remains in the toilet. Unemployment is still over 9 percent, and articles like this one detail just how long it takes for the average American to find a job — and that job seekers are giving up on the search after as little as 5 months.
Of course, part of the problem is there just aren’t enough jobs being created, but it’s also true that the present state of job sites and marketplaces today leaves a lot to be desired. Venturocket, a job connection service based out of San Francisco, is today launching a new spin on the old model that it hopes will prove to be a more effective way to match job seekers to the right employers. With an AdWords nod, to boot.
For starters, Venturocket Founder and CEO Marc Hoag says that he wants his service to dismantle the old job search standards and rebuild the model from the ground up. For Hoag, this means no more resumes, no more cover letters, and a dearth of classified ads. Out with the old, in with the new. Venturocket also does away with listing charges and membership fees — for both job seekers and employers — the startup instead only charges a small fee when an actual connection is made, i.e. the job seeker gets called in for an actual interview.
As an alternative to resumes and applications, the service requires prospective employees to list their skills and proficiencies in those skills — by selecting them from a common pool of choices, removing the interference of duplications and picky search filters.
But here’s where Venturocket’s model sets it apart from the rest: Job seekers actually bid on the keywords that describe their level of expertise at a particular job or skill, so that you’re in very real terms, putting your money where your mouth is. Are you an expert developer? Well, then you might say that you’re worth $20, and prospective employers pay that price to speak with you, and you pay that price in return.
Essentially, Venturocket is bringing the same model Google’s AdWords uses to determine the payment structure for its ads to the job search process. It’s a different (and perhaps slightly higher method) of determining the cost-per-connection, but Hoag says that he thinks that, by having providers and seekers pay the same nominal fee, it will ensure that both parties are genuinely interested in one another — and that a connection will be made. A quality connection.
Otherwise, the service is open to jobs in every sector, and is free to join, search, and use for job postings. Job skills are easily sorted and selected, serving results from commonly-used listings and related fields. Venturocket wants to eliminate your having to spam hundreds of job posts and employers with your resume and a hastily written cover letter, by allowing employers to pick only from candidates with the best skill matches, leaving job seekers to relax in knowing that they will automatically be contacted by companies — that they don’t have to waste time drafting a saccharine cover letter or prepare a professional headshot.
Now, some may be put off by the fact that you have to spend money to bid for the top keywords, but as Hoag pointed out, there is generally a misconception that it’s wrong or not feasible to spend money as part of the job search. In reality, people spend a lot of money looking for work, and with Venturocket’s model, you only pay for the skills that best describe your level of expertise — and the employer pays the same to get in touch with you. Hoag said that he realizes this model may not be appealing to the top 2.5 percent of job seekers, but the other 97.5 percent of people are the ones that really need the help.
Now, of course, as to the price of keywords, Adwords’ model runs the gamut from $1 to $100, and just as for Venturocket, the price of keywords is going to be determined by competition. So there’s a chance certain titles are driven up, but Hoag says that, like Adwords, he expects the average price to be far lower — under $2.
One might also think that this model would find people adding hundreds of keywords to describe their levels of expertise, but Hoag says that he wants to limit these to manageable numbers to incentivize completion, so employees can enter up to 30 keywords, while employers can add up to 15.
Venturocket is testing an interesting solution with its new service, and it will be really interesting to see if the Adwords model tests well in the job marketplace. The idea has some real validity to it, but can people really become comfortable with a service that circumvents the traditional job assets like resumes and cover letters and replaces them with keyword bidding?
Chime in and let us know what you think. For more on Venturocket, check ‘em out here.