Experience.com’s New Technology Uses Online Dating-Style Surveys to Better Match Job Seekers to Positions

3/2/11Follow @xconomy

Boston-based Experience.com has long targeted the entry level job market with its career search software, and is now taking the data it’s gathered for over 15 years to more intelligently match employers and potential hires.

CEO and founder Jenny Floren says the new technology, called Proactive Post, is looking to pull personal qualities and life experiences from college seniors and graduates who might lack an extensive resume.

It does so with an online survey that is rather similar to the personal questionnaire offered on online dating sites. (Not that I’ve used these before, I’ve just heard from friends. Seriously.)

Job candidates “give us a little bit of information and we do some matching behind the scenes,” Florence says. “We look for experiences, strengths, interests, skills, and match those up with what the employers are looking for and introduce them to each other.”

Proactive Post asks candidates questions on what styles of classes they enjoyed in college, to match them to “certain tasks and types of cultures in the working world,” Floren says. The site also pulls information from employers on the company’s history and specific tasks it’s looking to be completed in the job it’s hiring for. And it gathers additional data from job seekers who set up an account in their system, by tracking how they spend their time once on the site.

The service can be especially attractive to businesses that don’t have the budget to travel the country and do on-campus recruiting, Floren says. (Another Boston-area company that Greg wrote about, Take The Interview, is looking to enhance online job searches with a Web-based video interviewing system.)

“The candidates are often not in the same place as where the employers are,” Floren says. “Also the criteria that employers usually use to find talent everywhere else are things that are physically found on a resume, but those types of things are often in short supply from someone who has been in school most of their lives.”

Experience.com got its start in 1996. It’s now powering the online recruiting for 130,000 employers, and has hired for millions of jobs, Floren says. This gives its Proactive Post engine the data to more successfully comprehend which candidates work best for employers and the types of jobs they are looking to fill, she says. So, for example, a job as a camp counselor might not traditionally be a hot item on a candidate resume, but the Experience.com database knows if an employer has been happy with candidates it’s hired in the past with similar credentials, making future applicants more attractive to them, Floren says.

Experience.com, which has about 40 employees, had sold its product in two ways: by charging the colleges for which it powers online career search sites, and by charging the employers that post jobs on it, either with an annual subscription or a fee per job successfully filled. The pricing will remain the same with the new upgrades, but “it will be a much more sophisticated service,” Floren says.

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  • http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/44778 Stephanie Mayberry

    Finally! I have said for years that this would be a great way to match people to jobs! I sort of fell into my career by accident, but think of all the time I wasted searching for my happy place. A match service like this would have been ideal.