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The Hiring Process is Too Slow, and Career Paths are Unclear

While checking one of my many email accounts, I came across this email from FlexJobs. Three years ago, I was looking for a job. And during that time, I was obsessed with an idea to improve how people got hired.

Dear Aaron,

Historically, a career path has often been referred to as “climbing the ladder”, indicating a clear, straight, consistent move up towards a perceived “highest rung” on the ladder. Well, I don’t know about you, but my career path has been more of a crazy-looking series of zigzags — far from what my college career counselor recommended when I was in school.

But long ago, I’d come to appreciate that it’s okay! There are different jobs that will make sense for you and your life at different times, and we should feel free and confident to choose a job that is most likely to meet our goals at each particular time. Not to beat ourselves up about it.

Certainly, many job seekers are facing a potential zig or zag that they didn’t expect 6 months ago. So if you’re one of those who are struggling with questions like, “Should I take a job that isn’t in line with my career path?” or “What if I have to take a pay cut?” or “Should I change careers?”, remember that you’re not alone, and to have hope there is more than one way to get to your goals.

And we hope to help get you there! Read on for a special discount offer, great job listings and companies hiring, a featured success story, and more!

Many cheers,

Sara Sutton at the FlexJobs Team

To me, looking for a job on job search sites was more like looking for the right movie to watch in a $5 pile of DVDs at Walmart. There is no order, just a collection of different job titles expecting a range of different skills, all while not disclosing their pay structure.

I recognize that the employer has the right to shop for the best talent at the lowest possible price as if we are a product to be discounted. However, every individual has a right to income equality. We should all be able to afford a good lifestyle from our work. Some profit from their work more than others. There is no clear path, and there is a lot of zig-zagging when trying to climb the professional ladder.

I had an idea of how to solve this.

Before becoming a hiring manager myself, I believed that a website similar to LinkedIn that logged all of your certifications, education, experience, recommendations, and skills would help everyone apply for jobs faster.

I recognize that there are many job sites, including FlexJobs and Indeed. These sites help managers recruit talent. The manager receives many applications that range from college students to retired military. It is up to the hiring manager to determine the best fit quickly before the decision to hire for a position is abandoned.

Business is messy. Much like personal finance, budgeting is messy. Sometimes there isn’t a budget for a need. When filling a necessity, the expense displaces the budget for another area. I took too long to hire someone, so the direction for the position changed from above.

From the perspective of an applicant, one might feel as they have applied to many places, and no one wants them. But, the truth might be that the position was a new one and was evolving during the hiring process. For that reason, a proper job description did not exist, and when one finally did get written, it was unique.

In 2010, I wanted to build some kind of system that paired applicants with their ideal job. Much like a dating platform, I believed there was a role for everyone.

My view is changing, but I do believe that the hiring process could be more efficient and less stressful for applicants and managers.

When COVID-19 caused millions to be laid-off during the shutdown, the idea of an applicant pairing system returned to me. Some news articles suggested that 66 million would lose their job.

I began asking friends that if they were to lose their job, would they be willing to pay $15 to be instantly given a new one. All said yes.

If all 66 million said yes to $15, that would equal $990,000,000. Surely, with 1 Billion Dollars, a solution to pairing applicants to jobs would be achievable.

And that would be just the first round. What if this were a service where every time you wanted a new job, you paid $15 and Merry Christmas, you have a new job! Now we’re talking billions of dollars.

So how would this magical service work? A team of people would review every job description available and categorize them. Each job description mentions a set of skills; these skills can be phrased in many different ways, but are ultimately referring to the same ability. That ability would have a unique code. These codes would then be combined to match the resumes that also referenced the same skill.

Now, what about this instant part? With a site that verifies each skill once, the redundancy of proving this to each prospective employer is eliminated.

Answer interview questions once, get a background check, and drug screening once. Not multiple times over. For experience, each job experience is logged. Much like classes are logged in college. When it comes time to apply to a new job, just like with applying for courses, the prerequisites are matched up to allow access to the opportunity.

This idea is not perfect; there are areas where its hard to put people and jobs into cookie-cutter definitions. But, no matter how complex the working world is, I believe it could be studied and simplified. Standardized or at least the computer could use artificial intelligence to recognize the similarities between the job and the candidate.

I also believe that this would be in the national security interested of the United States Government, if not the rest of the world. When an economy is shut down, a nation is in danger of collapse. But, what an economy consists of is organization. The inability to organize people into teams quickly and reestablish the flow of currency puts a nation in danger.

Organization and efficiency are what the economy truly is. Every citizen should have a source of income; a means to supply their material needs. A nation that fails to ensure this for its citizens will be in danger of collapse. It is in everyone’s interest that all people living in the state can maintain their source of income even in the face of turbulent times.

Think of it as electricity. When a storm comes, you want your TV to maintain power without interruption. Sometimes the power goes out. But, if you have a backup generator, it is as if nothing happened. The more quickly you can reestablish electricity, the less inconvenienced you are.

The nation needs continuous economic power. The more resilient we are, the less concerned with the economy will need to be.

I consider it a public interest that we find a way to get people back to work and into the role they should be sooner rather than later so that these people can buy your products and your services so that you may also not be inconvenienced.

A digital system that pairs people with jobs find the right fits would make our economy move faster. People eventually find jobs, they ultimately find their place on the ladder, but if we could make it happen in seconds rather than months, how much better off would we be as a collective?

Time is valuable. This decade should be about eliminating unnecessary delays, mainly because the tools to do so are at our fingertips. Those who are not in favor of digital applicant pairing, online voting, and digital currency are holding us back. Much like those who stood in the way of flying, standardized time zones, and the study of medicine held us back.

It’s time to move forward. It shouldn’t take a pandemic or a war to increase our sense of urgency.