The new Vault came out of the vault this morning, and while it bears a family resemblance to the old site, it’s got deeper content, greater breadth, easier navigation, and enough improvements big and small that collectively they make the site more useful to more job seekers at a time when they need it most.
“Today, Vault is taking a major leap forward to provide our ambitious, educated audience with a faster, more comprehensive and personalized experience,” is how Vault president and CEO Erik Sorenson announced the release of the new Vault.
Founded in 1996, Vault has ever since served professional school students, recent grads, and, in increasing numbers over the years, mid-career professionals in the fields of finance, law, accounting, and consulting. Before consumer-generated content became a buzzword, Vault tapped into employees at major firms and companies in the U.S. who provided insider views of the work environment. They also helped Vault compile its salary information, its numerous surveys, and its famed company rankings.
Now, the new Vault maintains that same approach, but has expanded its reach to 400 professions, and the industries it covers from 40 to 200. Its company profiles have grown even more broadly.
The discussion groups remain, as do the blogs that have been added in the last few years. The discussion board is where questions about the software developer culture of a company to the financial stability of another company can be asked and where users will get answers. Curiously, Vault did not jump into the Web 2.0 networking stew. That was a deliberate decision, Sorenson told us, in answer to our emailed question:
“Our main focus as a company is to gather and distribute valuable exclusive content as efficiently for our users as possible, as with My Vault, so that’s where we put our resources to start. Our discussions and message boards remain popular. However, we look forward to continual improvement of the user experience and we expect that to lead to increased social media functionality over time.”
Here’s what else he told us:
Q: What were you looking to achieve with the redesign?
A: Vault’s delivery of “insider” career information has been very successful for more than 12 years. However, this is the first major overhaul of the site since it was introduced in 2001, and it was clear to us that the current site had become a barrier to continued growth. The new Vault features an entirely new approach to navigation, functionality, and branding. Our goal was to provide a much faster, more comprehensive and personalized user experience. At the same time, we are providing a better environment for our recruitment branding and advertising partners.
Q: You’ve expanded the content offerings significantly. What drove that decision? What do you expect will be the result?
A: Two reasons:
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First, Vault historically has been very strong in certain core areas — law, accounting, banking, and consulting. Our goal is to build on that core by providing our users with the same quality and depth of information in a vastly expanded number of other industries and professions. We are especially focused on expanding in areas that are very active today — government, green/energy, healthcare, and pharmaceuticals.
Secondly, we are providing our users up-to-the-moment news and commentary about companies and industries. The news about certain companies — and how that news impacts recruitment — is very important to both passive and active job seekers. We feel that the combination — in-depth, insider information curated by our editors, and timely, topical news — is an exceptional benefit for our consumers.
A: Who are your users and how do they use Vault?
Vault.com has about 2.5 million monthly users, and our content is available to more than 5 million additional consumers through universities and libraries. Our users are educated, ambitious, and talented. That’s why hundreds of premier corporate recruiters like Goldman Sachs and Deloitte have partnered with us for years, and 75 new company recruitment leaders have signed on since the first of the year.
Q: Has Vault’s business model changed? What is it and how does it work today, in an environment where so many resources are available.
Vault’s business model has not changed. We have a very diversified model, which has driven our stability and success for years. Vault has three primary revenue streams: 1. Recruitment advertising; 2. Subscriptions (Note: Vault charges $9.95 a month for its premium content); and 3. Licensing of our content to institutions, like libraries and universities. Of course, we also offer career services, like resume review and career coaching.
Regarding the number of resources available today, we feel that Vault is unique in the marketplace. We have breadth and depth of insider content — gathered from nearly fifty thousand surveys each year. Importantly, it is curated by our experienced team of editors — not just raw content with no context or credibility.