KickStart Solves the Wrong Recruiting Problem

While I have not seen or used the reported Kickstart, Techcrunch described it in the following manner:

“Yahoo is reported to be working on a new social networking service that matches college students to employers.” (emphasis added)

This is not a knock on Yahoo!, but this is not solving the actual problem that the entire recruiting industry fails to address well – highly intelligent people with excellent life experiences that are applicable in many ways in the secondary market, what some people would call experienced hires. A marketplace that is badly broken and fails to hire the highest potential, most innovative candidates that are capable of creating new paradigms.

The high value problem is the getting the productive utilization of underutilized assets in the US economy in the roles they should be in already. These can be people with resume gaps due to the events of September 11th, the increasing usage of temporary workers using checklists of keywords who aren’t truly qualified to do the screening based on what matters education and competencies, suffer from an out of favor job title due to a reorganization in their company or increasingly can be subject matter experts who research extensively on their own and often write blogs. Or the fact that position searches simply take too long. I’ve been told of companies with some roles that have been open for three years and they’ve been interviewing people all of that time. I have personally have been involved in search that is over 9 months old.

If Yahoo! (or anyone else for that matter) wants to be a hero by building a hiring application, I highly suggest building an application that reduces the insane amounts of friction and dysfunction in the experienced hire marketplace that reduces cycle times. I’m working on a few ideas of my own with some amazing people. It would be a pleasure to be a part of creating the solution in this arena.

3 Responses to KickStart Solves the Wrong Recruiting Problem

  1. Dave Lambert September 1, 2007 at 7:59 am #

    This is a very intelligent commentary!

  2. Mike Maddaloni September 1, 2007 at 12:12 pm #

    It is this dysfunction that drove me to start my own business, but I digress.

    Or maybe the proper term is disconnect. In many organizations the HR department is removed from the actual business. When a job opens, it is from the candidates HR gets that one is – or is not – selected.

    I rarely if ever see HR staff at tech networking events, like Tech Cocktail for example. Rather than going up to Monster or some other site to pull resumes based on a search criteria, they should be developing their own database of candidates. And if someone sends a resume to a company saying they are interested in working there, they should truly file that resume in their database, not just make an empty process.

    Also, I see Kickstart as a good add-on to a service like LinkedIn, not as a standalone service.


  3. Amy Luking September 3, 2007 at 9:52 pm #

    You definitely make a great point David. I believe that the solution is two fold.

    First, employers must have a strategic quantifiable recruitment plan. This plan should focus on using every means available, including what I call “power networking”; to identify any and all individuals who personally believe they can perform the job.

    The second part of the solution (where the breakdown often occurs) is providing a fair and consistent method for screening and accessing those candidates based not only on their resume, but on the hiring manager’s view of their past experience, skills and those behavioral traits which are most compatible for the role. In my experience if your plan can meet both of these criteria, you will have the ability to filter those candidates with true talent (including those with under utilized assets) from those who will produce only mediocre results.

    I think most HR professionals would agree with this concept, but find their challenge in the ability to manage the tactical aspects of sourcing at this scale and the time that is required to effectively screen and assess the huge volume of candidates that are available in today’s global marketplace. In fact, many I speak to feel so over-tasked that they neglect investigating other solutions that may significantly reduce their cost per hire and time to fill rates.
    At we are attempting to electronically bridge the gaps that occur when a company’s Human Resource manpower simply cannot accommodate the sourcing and screening aspect for the enormous volume of candidates that will be present when a job is marketed appropriately. We look like a job board, but perform like a recruiter.

    While we currently have free job posting available to everyone,but the real value we provide is with an employer paid service called Job Opportunity Management (JOM). This web based process is so effective that we can actually guarantee that the employer will identify at least 3 candidates that meet the individual hiring manager’s criteria in 30 business days or less. I would encourage you to check us out at I would also welcome your thoughts and feedback on this vision and product.

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