CareerBuilder Lets Job Seekers Know How They Compare

A few weeks ago, after President Obama announced new hiring rules for the federal government, ERE members worked him over pretty hard for insisting that job seekers be treated with courtesy.

After 45 comments, the community settled down into camps: Group one is on the side of communicating with job seekers to at least acknowledge receipt of their application and to tell them when they are no longer being considered; group two seems to believe it would be a nice thing, but it’s too much trouble.

No doubt CareerBuilder would rather not get into that debate, and will probably wish I never mentioned federal hiring and them in the same post, but it does provide some perspective on the job board’s newest job seeker tool, hireINSIDER.

hireINSIDER provides a remarkable degree of transparency to job seekers about their competition. An applicant going through CareerBuilder to respond to a job posting can now find out how they compare on several fundamental metrics to others who also applied through CareerBuilder.

Applicants with a CareerBuilder account can get a Job Competition Report providing them with a summary of the number of candidates who applied and how they stack up on:

  • Level of education;
  • Years of experience;
  • Average current salaries;
  • Top college majors of applicants;
  • Top languages spoken;
  • Employment status;
  • How many applicants submitted a cover letter.

Obviously, CareerBuilder is only able to provide this information from candidates who applied by using the resume and other data they stored as part of their CB profile. Candidates who applied otherwise won’t be part of the data summary.

That’s still a boatload more information than candidates ever get. And for those candidates who want to know the status of the hiring process, they can sign up for a report. They share their own status in the hiring process and in exchange are updated on what the other candidates have heard. Which, might just be nothing, since CareerBuilder pointed out that in a survey conducted by Personified, its consulting and RPO division, 60 percent of the job seekers polled said they never heard from employers to whom they apply.

For job seekers, the benefits are palpable. If you have only three years experience and most of the other candidates have six or seven or more, that helps explain why you didn’t get a call from a recruiter. (There might be other reasons, certainly.)

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For employers, the program is equally as valuable, and not just because it can reduce those annoying calls and emails asking if a resume was even received.

“hireINSIDER also benefits employers who may not have the time or resources to respond to an increasing amount of applications in a tough economy,” says Brent Rasmussen, president of CareerBuilder North America. “By providing the feedback that job seekers need, it helps to alleviate the negative impact that a lack of response can have on a company’s employment brand.”

This is by no means the first attempt to address the black hole problem. Three years ago Monster introduced an expanded “Apply History” which allowed job seekers to at least know that their application was sent and retrieved by an employer. Monster also provided job seekers with data on how the applicant pool compares on education and experience.

Since then, Monster has introduced additional career planning tools, including an ever-improving career mapping function that lets candidates see what routes others have taken to get to where they are.

hireINSIDER ups the ante on what job seekers can learn. Besides the free reports, seekers willing to spend money can buy a more detailed report covering management experience, number of direct reports, popular companies worked for, recent industries worked in, popular colleges attended, and more.

John Zappe is the editor of and a contributing editor of John was a newspaper reporter and editor until his geek gene lead him to launch his first website in 1994. He developed and managed online newspaper employment sites and sold advertising services to recruiters and employers. Before joining ERE Media in 2006, John was a senior consultant and analyst with Advanced Interactive Media and previously was Vice President of Digital Media for the Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

Besides writing for ERE, John consults with staffing firms and employment agencies, providing content and managing their social media programs. He also works with organizations and businesses to assist with audience development and marketing. In his spare time  he can be found hiking in the California mountains or competing in canine agility and obedience competitions.

You can contact him here.


3 Comments on “CareerBuilder Lets Job Seekers Know How They Compare

  1. Thank you John for the information regarding what CareerBuilder is doing for tracking and comparison purposes. I wonder though, is CB barking up the wrong tree?

    They are a resume hub that seems to be constant if not growing in market share in a very competitive environment, however, I wonder as a recruiting professional if they are not muddying the waters somewhat. Firstly, they have a paid for system that job seekers can pay a fee to get to the top of the job seeker list. I have seen this before on the recruiting side of the desk and was not impressed with it. Not sure if that has improved, but the point here for me is, can this be considered a bit discriminatory?

    Again, it is a question. Seekers who can afford to pay for this service are most likely currently employed. Lets say many protected classes are over represented amongst the unemployed. If a company were to say that CB was one of the many fair and open job boards, that may not be in reality the case.

    Of course, any good recruiting process would be inclusive of a broad spectrum of venues including job boards and other locations whose customer base may be focused on the protected classes.

    Additionally, is CB intending this offering they are providing as a test of sorts? You know, there are many tests for recruiting, the application, resume review, interview and job specific tests are among them. However, if CB is using this as a screening scenario for recruiters, they may likely not be scientific enough to get past the fact that resumes do not answer all job related questions. Then you have the fact that some may think that years of experience, too much for instance, would or may eliminate someone from consideration. This could be faulty and some may argue that age discrimination is possible.

    There are some job board/resume hub systems that seem to try to screen candidates, asking questions electronically and giving you a point score based on your answers. Although the job description is not specific and down to real defined detail, they ask questions that you have no idea what they are looking for. For instance, I did one a few months back asking for the names of a couple of my employers. I was limited in the numbers to answer, and was not sure what they were looking for. Unlike, lets say, Google, where they list the employers people have worked for, they just let you wing it. My number for the job came back low and they were looking for employers: x-y-z (names of employers withheld). I could have answered x, yet, they said I had a rather low score because I did not, and there was no way to go back and answer that issue.

    I think CB and Monster and other large job boards do a tremendous service in the recruiting community. However, I just wonder if they are getting too far from what they are there for, with all the great intentions aside.

    Valid tests are the only way that companies and recruiters that work for them and serve them can hire people fairly and properly. I am hoping this project of theirs does not become a ‘test’ of sorts, if so, it would take quite a bit of work to validate each and every job and candidate they do this with.

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