If someone takes an 'old school' map and makes it available online, that’s digitisation.
'Digitisation' of a map
On the other hand, 'transformation' uses modern technology to give us something completely new.
'Transformation' of a map
With maps for example, what we have now is essentially a software application that lives in your pocket (it's on your phone for whenever you need it). It covers the entire world, and not just one specific location.
Not only that, this map knows where you are at any given time, click a few buttons and this map highlights the fastest way to get to where you need to go. It has live traffic data, and in the middle of a trip, can automatically switch you to the fastest route.
It's also your navigator, and literally talks you through every turn ‘at the roundabout, take the 2nd exit’. This map can even show you the nearest coffee shops, along with their review scores, menu, and preview photos of latte art.
Come to think of it, this thing suddenly makes Harry Potter’s map look a lot less magical.
If we picked up a group of time travellers (from a couple of hundreds years ago, decades ago, and as little as 20 years ago) and showed them a modern map application, they’d be variously gobsmacked, or at least extremely impressed by what they saw. Our time travellers may argue that we’re not really showing them a ‘map’, it’s something way beyond that.
They’re right. It’s a ‘transformed’ version of a map.
The digitisation of hiring
Now if we grabbed the same time travellers, sat them down, and showed them how hiring works today and all the different tools available, they’d probably come down from their high.
In fact, they might get bored very quickly, and ask if we could show them how Tinder works again.
Anyway, I digress...
Before the internet, it was possible to publish a text based job advert (newspaper or noticeboard), invite applications (also text based CVs/resumes, and cover letters), and then begin the process of sorting and filtering these applications. The most promising candidates get called for an initial conversation (time travellers familiar with phones would have used those to call their shortlist, otherwise these conversations would have taken place in person), and the strongest candidates getting further interviews followed by an offer.
The 'evolution' of job adverts (i.e. static text) - from physical, to printed, to online.
There's not much transformation for the time travellers to get their heads around. A text based job advert on Linkedin, and a two page resume in PDF format don't require much explanation.
To be fair once time travellers learn that people can search and apply for jobs at the click of a button from anywhere in the world; and also that interviews (as well as a lot of the work) can be conducted ‘virtually’, they’d probably guess that at least hiring must be very quick these days.
The truth is, I wouldn’t bet against the time travellers filling their average vacancy quicker than their modern counterparts (60 days for a lot of tech roles according to data from Workable).
So much for progress.
How can we transform job ads?
At Intaview.me our vision is to create the best possible tech job ads.
In doing so, we'd love to change people's expectations when posting a job.
To do that we need transformation, not just digitisation. Let's look at a few of the things we're doing.
1.Work backwards... what's the end goal?
The only way to create great tech teams (which is what we're here to do) is for innovative hiring managers to meet exceptional candidates.
This is the exception and not the rule with most tools. If you're lucky, after several weeks, a handful of applicants might meet a hiring manager.
One reason for this, is that anyone can sign up for most tools, everybody can post a job ad (of pretty much any quality), and any candidate apply for these jobs (even if they don't meet the job criteria).
A lot of jobs boards probably don't even care what happens once they've taken your money. For example they allow 3rd parties to spam you with offers such as recruitment and offshoring services.
Finding good jobs and candidates using traditonal methods 'be like'...
The whole process gets off to such a bad start, and there's so much inefficiency that a lot of companies need to hire someone (an internal or external recruiter) to pick up the pieces. A bit like buying a map that's so convoluted, you also need to hire someone to help you use it properly.
We're aiming for everyone to only meet people they would want to be future colleagues with. After all, that's the whole point of hiring. To acheive this, we screen all hiring managers and candidates who join the platform, as well as each individual job ad, and application.
We take a lot of pride in this. For example, there's a fine art (and science) in identifying people who can switch role, industry, or technology and still succeed. It's not as simple as using the 'X years of experience' filter on Linkedin to create good matches.
On our platform, all approved sign ups get an interactive job ad or profile respectively.
This means you're basically one click away from meeting future colleagues at any time (no need to schedule an initial call). Hence the name intaview.me.
This is transformation.
2. Don't fall at the first hurdle
This is a common scenario. You see a job ad, it looks interesting, and naturally, you've got a few questions about the role. Job adverts have always come with two choices:
B) Don't apply (i.e. leave never to be seen again)
The obvious option for the best candidates is option B.
This is because they would need to make it through initial application screening, then (most likely) an initial interview, and finally, days or weeks later they might get the answer to their questions from the hiring manager (i.e. what the role involves, who's on the team, how the team works, work from home policy, salary, benefits etc.).
Strong candidates probably have a good job already. Rather than put themselves through the rigmarole above, they'll just save their energy for a very small number of roles that really grab their attention.
Intaview.me opens up the common sense middle ground. Your new choices are:
B) Don't apply
C) Find out more about the role
Transformation is the hiring manager answering common FAQs up-front (via an interactive job ad).
Interactive job ad: your FAQs answered up front
The hiring manager is now 'explaining the role' to many candidates without having to schedule 1-1 meetings, and repeat themselves every time.
Key information that's always been reserved for just a handful of applicants is now available to everyone before they apply, which is when the information is most valuable anyway. This is the only way to make this process scalable with dozens of potential applicants (see next section).
Take that time travellers! Bet you couldn't do that in 1823?
3. Analytics and intelligence
Websites and applications are often analysed to the nth degree. By contrast job ads are somewhat static and lifeless.
By making job ads and profiles interactive, we're again opening up a common sense middle ground. We can track data, and help optimise the recruitment process for hiring managers and candidates alike (see section above, candidates ususally have a list of things they want to understand about a role before they apply).
For a recent UX role (we successfully helped fill) 125 unique visitors viewed the interactive job ad (some people viewed it multiple times), and 45 people applied.
Side note: We put forward four strong applicants for the role (approaching our maximum of five people), and one of them landed it.
Interestingly, finding out more about the company was the least popular first interaction with the job ad. Most candidates were keen to know about either the role, or culture first. Incidentally those that skipped straight to apply often put forward the weakest applications, as they became too generic. By contrast candidates who had viewed all the key job info tailored their applications slightly to show a genuine interest in this particular role and company (not just any role, at any company!).
Where next? Candidates' initial interaction with an interactive job ad
This kind of intelligence means we understand the information that hiring managers and candidates find most important, and can make it more easily available in future.
We can also see if candidates drop off after finding out certain bits of information. Maybe the skills section is listing so many 'must haves' that the job is putting people off? Again, we use this intelligence to refine the role (in consultation with the hiring manager).
There's an irony that software has been 'eating the world' for decades, but creating great software teams relies heavily on manual processes that date from the pre-internet era.
Returning to the maps analogy. Maps solve the problem of 'getting from A to B'.
It's no surprise that people like 'maps' that talk them through their journey while they're driving. This is much better than pulling over, looking at a detailed map, and having to do all the 'heavy thinking' yourself.
The same kind of logic applies to hiring. The whole point is to meet future colleagues.
The industry suffers from too little transformation, and too much digitisation of things that aren't helpful. For example, vague job ads don't help candidates, and dozens of unfiltered applications don't help hiring managers. Tools and services that just 'digitise' these substandard processes, only exacerbate the problem.
With Intaview.me we're on a mission to transform how hiring works. We want to 'underdo the competition'. We're not going to digitise the stuff that doesn't matter, instead we're building tools that transform how we solve people's underlying 'problem'.
'I want to meet my future colleagues. I want to meet them fast.
And by the way, I can do a lot of this myself, and in my own time.'
By David Fallon
Founder of Intaview.me