With Labor Day upon us, this is an ideal time for me to tell job seekers about two new sites that might help them get hired. And for me to offer a reminder on how to find work in the last quarter of the year.
Fortunately, the fall hiring outlook looks bright. The unemployment rate just fell to 5.1 percent and the number of underemployed — part-timers who want full-time work — continues to drop.
And if your goal is to find a telecommuting arrangement, that should be easier than in years past, too. A recently released Gallup poll shows that 37 percent of U.S. workers now telecommute, compared to just 9 percent in 1995.
To help you capitalize on the job market momentum, I want to tell you about two new sites that went live during the summer: TerraTal.com, a job board with an e-Harmonyish approach to the search process and Remote.co, a site that’s all about working from home and other virtual assignments.
One caveat: Since both sites are quite new, they don’t yet have an enormous volume of job listings or content. Nonetheless, based on what I’ve seen to date, I’m impressed and think they’re worth checking out. Over time, you can expect the number of their job listings to continue rising.
It uses the online dating concept to match job seekers with employers. No resumé needed (and, thank goodness, no swiping left or right either).
Let’s get the weird name out of the way: Terra means earth, Tal is an abbreviation for talent. And here’s another unusual thing about this Dallas, Texas-based job site founded by four partners with extensive experience in the human resources field: It uses the online dating concept to match job seekers with employers. No resumé needed (and, thank goodness, no swiping left or right either).
Registering on TerraTal is simple, free and takes about 20 minutes. Instead of uploading your resumé, you’re asked a series of questions about what you’re looking for (salary, geographic location and industry, for instance) and what you have to offer (such as your skills, accomplishments and education).
Employers complete a similar profile detailing their ideal job candidates. They also get to put in weightings for the factors that matter most to them. So for example, if technical skills are more important for an open position than education, they can assign a greater weight to those qualifiers.
Then, TerraTal uses sophisticated data analytics and mathematical algorithms to generate the best matches and, voila! When you’re a match, you get an e-mail telling you about the job.
If you like the sound of it, you hit a reply button that alerts the employer to your interest. The employer can then opt to pay $199 to access your contact information. Once a connection is made, the traditional interview process begins and TerraTal is out of the picture.
“Everyone we knew, both job seekers and employers, found the online job search process anxiety producing,” Aaron Hoffman, one of the co-founders, told me in a phone interview. “But by using mathematical algorithms, we are able to do a much better job at matching people to jobs.”
I think TerraTal is on to something. Its data-driven, holistic approach is designed to reduce the frustrations and inefficiencies that plague most job boards. The site offers an especially attractive alternative for passive job seekers who don’t want to spend time inputting their resumé, but want to play in the game.
For now, most of the employers on TerraTal are based in Texas, since that’s where the company is headquartered. But Hoffman assured me that his team is actively expanding their reach, both in the United States and overseas.
If you’re interested in landing a virtual work arrangement, either full-time or part-time, check out Remote.co. The brainchild of Sara Sutton Fell, founder of FlexJobs.com, the Boulder, Colo.-based site will give you a better understanding of how to navigate the oft-confusing world of working remotely in general and working from home in particular.
Although designed primarily as a site where employers can learn and share best practices around remote work, there are three ways job seekers can use the site to their advantage:
The company Q+A page is a place to look for firms that offer remote work (currently, there are 56 companies listed) and to read about what they look for when sourcing remote workers. Job seekers can find out answers to questions like:
- How do you conduct interviews for remote jobs?
- What traits do you look for in candidates for a remote job?
- What is your hiring process for remote workers?
The “Learn” area features articles to prepare for the interview process. For example, you’ll get a peek into the traits companies look for in remote employees and insights into what makes a remote worker most productive on the job. Once you have a better understanding of what companies are looking for, you’ll know which skills and personality traits to highlight during your interviews.
The Remote Job Board lets employers list their remote work opportunities. Currently it averages about 50 listings a week, although that number is likely to grow a bit over time. That said, as of now, the site is primarily a resource for employers, not a job listings site.
A Tip for Fall
One last reminder for job hunters: As you head into the home stretch of 2015, I encourage you to read a post I wrote this time last year: The Best Ways to Prepare Now to Land a Job in 2014. It offers a three-month plan to help you capitalize on the fall hiring season.
Now, put away those beach towels and go finish the year strong!