This post was produced as part of the UW Comm Department’s undergraduate Entrepreneurial Journalism course.
by Simona Trakiyska
Remember the long hours spent filling out job applications? How about updating your resume and cover letter with each submission, just so they are customized. Today we know that the words: “complete these simple steps and click apply,” are fiction. And if by any chance the automated system selects your resume, don’t be confused, yet you are not the “lucky winner” – you are just in the same pile as everyone else, awaiting to be chosen for that “quick” phone interview and see if you qualify for the first in-person interview. And yes, usually there are two.
But what if you could throw this process away and just get to work?
Employers often need experienced, hourly workers, who can successfully complete given tasks. The job demand varies: from employers seeking help for big corporate events, to part time babysitting jobs. One job posting can receive hundreds of resume responses, usually requiring a cover letter and a resume. This making the recruiting process difficult. Employers have to go through the time-consuming process of reviewing these resumes and cover letters to select a few promising candidates for the job. This can be a frustrating process, not only for the employers, but the candidates themselves. For example, not all hourly applicants own a smartphone, or a tablet, or a computer. As a result, not all qualified workers have access to web-based tools such as LinkedIn. With this in mind Luis Salazar, who is the co-founder and CEO of Jobaline, created a new mobile platform, specifically designed to match employers with eligible hourly workers.
In his article “How Simple Mobile Tech Can Put America Back to Work” Salazar mentions how “Companies rely on hourly employees, which represent over 59 percent of the US labor force and more than 74 million workers, reinforcing the notion that hourly workers truly are the backbone of business in America.”
Jobaline’s recruiting process does not use the traditional model of sending resumes and filling out long applications, instead one can conduct a pre-screened interview via any mobile device, even a feature phone. Jobaline can be really convenient for people who are on the “go” mode. For example, students manage busy day-to-day schedules, from classes to internships; with the upcoming graduation season, students are on the verge of searching for jobs.
But imagine this: you are a student – you wake up, you take the bus or you ride the bike, you go to class, you do the homework and then you go to your internship, and somewhere in the middle of this daily marathon – you eat. Time is limited. But what if in between, you could apply for a job, conduct an interview, and align a follow up, without using a laptop or even an Internet connection…
June’s graduations are coming up now, and Jobaline seems to be the convenient, the easy and the inexpensive way through which students can find hourly jobs.
This is how it works: (for the applicants):
You search for a job using a zip code. For example, on the main page, under “Need a great local job?” You can enter your zip code of preference, I entered 98052 – which is Redmond, Wash. A job list was displayed, and I found a variety of jobs from Social Media Specialists to Baristas and Sales Reps. Once I selected the job I liked, I was prompted with three steps: first you answer a few questions that the employer needs to know (such as “are you willing to work overtime?”); second, you can log in with Facebook or you can send a text message to the provided number (you can conduct the pre-screening interview through a feature phone via SMS); third, you answer a few questions via an automated phone interview.
This is how it works (for the employers):
Employers can post the job and can create an automated interview for free on Jobaline. First, employers have to describe the position in a text field with a maximum of 140 characters. Secondly, they have to complete a section for the requested work experience and for schedule preferences – this section also includes questions about the written and the phone interview. The last step consists of publishing the job on Jobaline. There are no fees, unless the employer chooses an applicant. Only then, the employer pays a fee, as low as $2.95. In return, the employer receives the applicant’s contact information.
“Employers choose the attributes and skills that matter to them during the interview process and then the candidates complete the 3-minute text and phone interview in an ads-free experience.” (Described in the http://jobaline.com/trynow)
Here is how the pre-screening process works:
“Job seekers apply from any computer or mobile device, even via simple text messaging.” (Screenshot from http://jobaline.com/trynow)
Here is how the text messaging interview works:
Jobaline’s prescreening function makes the interviewing process simpler for both parties.
Jobaline was launched just few weeks ago. During its testing period “Jobaline conducted about 2,000 interviews per week and saved hiring managers around 10 hours in pre-screening time per job post.” (Mentioned at “One immigrants plan to overhaul the U.S. job market.’’
Analyzing the job marketplace for hourly wage positions, the former Yahoo and Microsoft executive, Salazar thought that Jobaline should be available to bilingual customers as well. Salazar decided to have Jobaline available to the Seattle and Miami market; inevitably he included two language options – English and Spanish.
The Venezuelan entrepreneur Salazar, who lives in Seattle, has always been enthusiastic about technology, but through Jobaline he hopes to drive a positive social change in the hourly work market, despite the poor access some workers have to technology.