This week saw the promised launch of SEEK’s foray into the online CV database market with Jobseeker Profiles. The premise behind this is an attempt to flip the traditional job board model on its head and turn it into a proactive job search tool for job seekers, rather than reactive one. Instead of applying to job ads as they appear on the site, this enables job seekers to post their CV and profile onto SEEK’s database and become searchable by recruitment agencies and employers looking for keywords or experience contained within those CVs.
Of course, this is a bit like when the football A-League was announced and launched back in 2005, bringing professional football to Australia and New Zealand for the first time. Many people were like, “OK that’s cool, but really it’s about time seeing as every other country in the world has a professional football league already.” So it is with this, with job board goliaths like Monster already having pioneered this facility many years hence.
So will it take off in our region? The traditional resistance has always been that in a smaller market (particularly New Zealand) job seekers are going to be less inclined to post their details publically looking for a job in case their current employer should happen to stumble upon it. I imagine SEEK will have set up numerous screens to protect the obvious identity of the candidate, until the candidate permits the release of their details to the employer, but it is still a cultural mindset that will be hard to shift. The reaction amongst many of my fellow recruiters has been pretty under-whelming so far, a bit like the opening game of the A-League which I attended where Newcastle Jets lost 1-0 at home to Adelaide Utd. A lone header from the visitors punctuating an inability for either team to string any passes together stuck a pin into the barely inflated pre-game bubble of excitement.
But I am an advocate of change and innovation if nothing else, so I am committed to giving this new thing a go. And seeing as it’s Friday Whiteboard Day I thought I might as well provide you a running commentary of how I get on with my first foray into Jobseeker Profiles:
– Open browser and click into SEEK.co.nz. Looks familiar, notice the tile in the bottom “Look for a job while it looks for you, employers and recruiters are searching for people like you now”. OK so that’s for the job seeker, but what about me? I want to see what profiles I can find.
– Click into it anyway to see if that’s where I should go…no it’s just for the job seeker. OK well I’ll take my usual route for posting ads and click on “Advertisers Post a Job Ad” at the top of the screen.
– Aha, here we go. A new “Candidates” column on this page. Click into “Jobseeker Profiles for your roles”
– OK it all looks pretty nice, excitement and anticipation starting to build, where do I go next? Only place I can see to go next is clicking on “your roles”
– Here we go – familiar page but with a new “Jobseeker Profiles” column. It is telling me there are 70 jobseeker profiles available for my “Experienced Recruitment Professionals” job ad – sweet. Got to check this out, click on the 70.
– Reduce the field to 29 by adding the keyword “recruitment” (as I am looking for experienced recruiters here, the word must surely appear on all profiles of experienced recruiters). That also thankfully eliminates the “Hard Warking Boy” who wants to be a butcher (not sure which letter he mis-typed in that sentence)
– Must say it looks like there might be one or two useful profiles for me here…have a scout through them. As an introductory offer SEEK are giving away 10 free profile views per job ad so I’ll compile my short list and see how it goes…
– OK got my 10 job seekers and click “Checkout”. 7 will have their CV’s released automatically and 3 are private profiles, so they get to review my job ad before releasing their info (this is where jobseekers worried about their boss seeing them looking can cover their arses)
– 2 of them are already registered with me. One is a candidate I already placed 3 weeks ago. The others are there for me to peruse and decide what to do with.
Overall I have to say this is quite a slick process. It looks good and, once you have found your way into the right area of SEEK, it is very easy to use. As for whether it will throw up the results recruiters are looking for? Well I must say I was surprised to see the profile of a candidate who I have already placed. This proves irrevocably that this could work very well for us in recruitment. The fact he applied to me directly as well as posting his own profile meant I was able to work reactively on finding him a job, but this shows how it could become a more proactive process.
Looking at the rest, I will make contact, but on first glance doesn’t appear likely there will be the right fit in there. But as this is taken up by more and more agencies and employers then more job seekers will load their details up and the quality of the database will improve. I can definitely see this being of benefit, especially for overseas candidates moving to, or returning to, New Zealand, who wouldn’t necessarily know who to contact or where to look.
This is a good move from SEEK. The calls about job boards becoming less and less relevant are getting louder, and have obviously prompted SEEK into launching this new product. But this kind of move was essential for SEEK to remain relevant, to display some innovation, to just keep us all interested, especially as the likes of Linked In and Google make searching for candidates without job boards a realistic option for many recruiters. Yes, this has been done before, but I must say SEEK have done this well. As long as they now invest proper amounts in marketing this new feature to job seekers, to improve the size and quality of their database, then this could be a very useful tool in the recruiter’s candidate sourcing strategy.
Keen to hear about anyone else who has tried out this new feature in their particular sector, and any feedback you might have.