Universal Job Application System Introduced By Jobfox

Talk to Steven Toole about ResumePal for even just a few minutes and you get the feeling this is how sliced bread came about. ResumePal is a simple, elegant, and free solution to an annoying jobseeker and recruiter problem.

It’s an easy-to-use method to apply for jobs through corporate websites without having to reenter the data for each different employer. Jobseekers create a profile once, then by logging in to ResumePal from any participating employer’s site, they just click to apply. When they change their profile, by updating their contact information for instance, ResumePal automatically updates the database of every participating employer to which they’ve applied.

“It’s very similar to PayPal,” says Toole, vice president, employer marketing at Jobfox, which developed the service. “It’s convenient for jobseekers, but there are significant benefits for employers too.”

Keeping candidate information current is but one of those benefits. Another is that the profile is configured to fit the employer’s database specs. A third is the reduction in application abandonment. Who hasn’t begun applying for a job only to quit part way through because the process was too long or complicated for the job being offered?

“Candidate abandonment on corporate sites and job boards will go down, because they already have a profile that gets submitted by clicking the link,” Toole explains.

Simplifying the process to encourage more candidates might not seem a benefit to all recruiters, but another feature, one born of Jobfox’ DNA, reduces the impact of getting minimally qualified applicants. Candidates using ResumePal are matched to all jobs in a company’s ATS, and the quality of the match is ranked. So even as a candidate applies for one position, a recruiter at the receiving end can quickly see where else that person might fit. And yes, the candidate also is told of these other opportunities.

The other nice part of this is that employers using certain brands of ATS technology need do nothing more than opt in to the free program. The heavy lifting has already been done by the vendors who have signed on to offer ResumePal: ADP, Kenexa, Oracle and Oracle’s PeopleSoft, SilkRoad Technology, and Softscape. Plenty of big names there, accounting for several thousand employer installations and jobseeker applications that reach into the seven figures.

“There will be other announcements,” Toole emphatically declared when we asked about some of the other vendors. If ResumePal works as advertised, the momentum for it will build, just as it did for PayPal, he adds.

Jobfox has certainly taken pains to help speed ResumePal’s acceptance. By offering it through ATS vendors, there’s no cost to employers. They simply choose to use it or not. Even when they do, candidates have the option of applying in whatever fashion the company previously used or by submitting a ResumePal profile. No ResumePal? No problem. The jobseeker registers for ResumePal right on the employer’s site.

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Jobseekers already registered on Jobfox are automatically enrolled in ResumePal. However, the opposite is not true; ResumePal participants must opt-in to Jobfox. They might as well, however, since they’ll get a list of other jobs matching their interests and background and reach a broader group of employers.

While we think jobseekers will embrace a universal job submission system, and recruiters will appreciate the automatic candidate updates and matching features, even sliced bread has its tradeoffs. In the case of ResumePal, jobseekers have to complete a Jobfox-styled questionnaire to create a profile. Standard resumes alone don’t work. Plus, ResumePal isn’t open to job boards where a majority of the searching is still conducted.

The other, and far bigger challenge, is how ResumePal benefits Jobfox. Toole tells us that once recruiters begin to experience the job matching, they’ll be open to becoming Jobfox clients. We suggested that sounds a lot like a loss leader, and Toole agreed, up to a point.

“Once they (recruiters) see how this works we think they’ll understand the value of Jobfox and become clients,” he says.

Should this catch on (a major consumer publicity push is to happen later this year, says Toole) there is the potential to monetize ResumePal by charging jobseekers. For that to work, the big job boards would have to become partners, as would the remaining big ATS vendors. From a jobseeker standpoint, updating one resume or profile and then having it instantly updated everywhere would be a convenience and a billable value.

John Zappe is the editor of TLNT.com and a contributing editor of ERE.net. 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 “Universal Job Application System Introduced By Jobfox

  1. I think this is one of the best and worst innovations for the recruiting space.

    Candidates love to over-describe their qualifications.
    Recruiters hate resumes that over state qualifications.

    No doubt, candidates tire from the very repetitive database-nature of the typical ATS. Making the time to go back and update changes is only a priority for active job seekers or the highly career conscious social networker. A one-stop for resume/personal profile data makes a lot of sense. It may even have monetary value from a time/efficiency perspective.

    Recruiters are always seeking more effective ways to have the most current candidate data. Having some sense that a query will be based upon up to date information can be a confidence booster and potentially save time.

    The down side is that the system is still resume-based. Resumes are poor predictors of job performance. Resumes are typically laden with misrepresentations. And most notably, the misrepresentations are the greatest on the variables most often used to sort candidates. This one-stop approach allows the same misrepresentations to be distributed broadly and efficiently.

    It is clear the resume continues to be the main data source for information exchange in the recruiting process. Using more database-driven resume/profile builders will no doubt increase the consistency of information in this exchange. But how it impacts the useable quality of data will be driven by the depth of data that can be used to isolate meaningful and job relevant candidate differentiation.

    Many ATSs have scorable or screening questionnaire. Most of the companies I speak with make very little use of that feature. Unused or under-used features add no value. The long term market value proposition for ResumePal will in getting more comprehensive adoption of screening that differentiates in relationship to predicting performance.

    Joseph P. Murphy
    Shaker Consulting Group
    Developers of the Virtual Job Tryout®

  2. Hi Joseph, and thanks for your positive remarks.

    As a point of clarification, ResumePal matching is not based on the content of the resume at all. Candidates create a matchable profile at http://www.ResumePal.com, and attach their resume — but the matching happens based on the profile data. Of course, recruiters and hiring managers will want to see the resume, which is why it’s attached to the ResumePal profile and also goes into the ATS. So in a way ResumePal is the best of both worlds — an intelligent, data-driven matching system to float the most qualified candidates to the top of the list, along with a traditional resume attachment for the phone screen and interview process.

    In reference to the point about updating one’s profile, surely someone in active mode will have all the motivation to do so, no doubt. But if updating one’s profile helps connect a candidate with an employer, that can only be a good thing, and everybody wins.

    I also agree with your comment about screening candidates to better align them with the right jobs, helping ensure a good fit, and in turn, optimal performance.

    All the best,

    Steven Toole
    VP Employer Marketing

  3. Great article, John! I especially appreciate the caveats in the last paragraph.

    I’ve been exploring jobfox.com while preparing for a presentation about internet recruiting, which I’ll be making to an HR group later this spring. I’ve been impressed with the scalability of the match criteria on jobfox. I experimented with a search for an industrial outside salesperson. I was able to search for the individual’s reported “length of sale” experience (long sale for capital equipment; short sale for phone service, for example); the nature of the businesses/sectors to whom the individual has sold; average ASV generated; etc. Much more robust criteria than some of the “match” functions on other job boards.

    If the “universal application” idea catches on, could be a substantial innovation!

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