It's where some of us, particularly tech workers, physically spend most of our days — at work. It would be ideal if work was actually a desirable place to be. Yet if the email I receive is any indication, this is not always the case.
What if you could be matched with a job like some people are matched with their love relationships — by a service that uses a compatibility score to match you up with jobs that are your best fit? Think eHarmony for your career.
Backed by $1.5 million in strategic financing from Adecco, a company called Path.To is striving to be just that. The company features technology and design positions from more than 100 Bay Area companies, including Eventbrite, Evernote, Lytro, and Uber.
Path.To features the "Path.To Score," a ranking system that analyzes the unique characteristics of each applicant, business, and position to determine compatibility. The Score evolves by tracking user and company preference and takes into account:Social Graph: By tapping into a user's interests on Twitter and Facebook and their contributions and reputation on other online professional communities, including Behance, Dribbble, Forrst, and Github, Path.To has a better understanding of an applicant's passion for professionally related topics. Personality: Path.To identifies and incorporates information about what is important to the user in their next position, such as dress code, benefits, and culture to better pair applicants with companies that closely match their ideal place to work. Skills and Experience: In addition to highlighting work experience and education, Path.To focuses on the specific skills needed to succeed at each position and enables users to showcase their experience through skills-based endorsements.
I asked Path.To's founder and CEO Darren Bounds a couple of questions about how the Path.To process works.Q: What is the process the applicants take?
A: When an applicant signs up for Path.To, the process takes into account a few different factors about a professional. They'll be prompted to add in:
1) Work experience: They can either enter it in manually or import it from an existing profile in LinkedIn or Facebook.
2) Skills: They can choose up to 10 primary skills that they specialize in.
3) Preferred type of work environment: They can include what kind of benefits and other dimensions of work are important to them. In order to make better matches, Path.To likes to get an idea of an applicant's personality — essentially, culture and environment are important factors that go beyond what's usually stated in simple job posts.
4) Social networks: Voluntary to the user, Path.To can include a professional's interaction on social networks, specifically Facebook and Twitter, but only in a positive way. Path.To only performs an analysis of a user's public information.
The Path.To algorithms, when looking at Facebook and Twitter content, mainly look into their interests and passions. As a result of this analysis, we identify that their interests and passions align well with a particular company or role at a company, and we'll use that to inform our scoring.
For an example, if we identify that you're passionate about photography and two positions are closely matched to your professional profile but one is in a business related to photography, such as Instagram, we would use that insight to score that position more highly.
5) Professional social networks: Another option for users is that they can let Path.To take a look at their interaction on professional social communities — like Dribbble, Github, Behance, and Forrst. From their activity in these communities, Path.To can help determine what types of work and projects they are engaged with and how well regarded the candidate is by the community (i.e. if certain project posts get a good response).Q: How do you gather the information about the company and the specific jobs at hand, in regard to whether it's laid back, creative, etc.?
Similar to the sign-in process for applicants, businesses also fill out a profile that delves into the same type of questions about work environment (start-up vs traditional, etc.), so that Path.To can more easily match them together.Q: After a connection is "made," do you send the company/job info to the applicant and have them apply for the job? Do you give any information about the job candidate to companies that they match to?
After we've scored the candidates against the available jobs, we market the opportunities with the most potential to the related candidates. If and when the candidate applies (something most applicants do when a job is recommended), the business receives their list of candidates ranked by their Path.To score. This makes it very simply to create a short list of applicants with whom the business should follow up, saving them a lot of time. Also, because Path.To has gone through the effort of marketing their positions to the *right* candidates, the quality of the applicants overall is typically very high.
Toni Bowers is the former Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.