Workforce.com

ResumePal Recruiters' Friend

July 16, 2009
A new online application tool called ResumePal is not very friendly to traditional job boards already facing a host of challenges.

Announced in late March by careers site Jobfox, ResumePal is an online profile designed to be a universal standard in job applications. Jobfox says that job seekers can fill out ResumePal once and submit it to multiple participating employers, and that the tool will allow employers to reduce their recruitment advertising spending. Much of that spending currently flows to job boards such as Monster.com and CareerBuilder.com, which are struggling to navigate the recession and various alternative online recruiting methods.

Recruiting industry author Peter Weddle says the ResumePal concept has “great potential.” But wide-scale adoption of it is a question. “Its biggest challenge,” Weddle says, “will be that of any other new idea: overcoming people’s reluctance to change, even when that change is demonstrably better than what they have.”

ResumePal uses Jobfox’s job seeker profile and job matching process. This involves asking job seekers detailed questions about work experience and preferences that can take upwards of 45 minutes to complete.

    Steven Toole, vice president of employer marketing at Jobfox, says about 2 million job seekers now have ResumePal, though most of those completed profiles at Jobfox before the March introduction of ResumePal.

ResumePal has several advantages for employers, Toole says.

“It reduces candidate abandon rates on their careers pages, collects rich profile data about each candidate in order to match each applicant with the best job at the company, and automatically maintains the accuracy of past candidate data inside the [applicant tracking system],” Toole says. “This takes things to a whole new level.”

A number of makers of recruiting software are teaming with Jobfox on ResumePal, including Kenexa, Oracle and Softscape. But not all of the key players are on board. Noticeably absent are talent management software leaders Taleo and SuccessFactors.

In addition, there are questions about how well ResumePal’s job-pairing technology will work. Recruiting analyst Gerry Crispin says matches will improve significantly when organizations have taken the time to use the same terms for openings as job seekers have used in describing their skills, knowledge and experience. But, he says, a company using an applicant tracking system has already adopted a “taxonomy” for job descriptions and terminology for skills, knowledge and experience that may not correspond directly to the terms used in ResumePal’s profile.

The applicant tracking system could adopt ResumePal’s methodology on the company side, Crispin says. But, he says, “I’m skeptical that that will be done.”

Jobfox CEO Rob McGovern says Crispin’s concern is off base. McGovern, who founded CareerBuilder.com, says partnerships with applicant tracking system vendors will lead to simple ways for organizations to get enhanced matches. A customer can either spend five to 10 minutes answering a set of additional questions about a job opening from within its recruiting software system or rely on Jobfox employees to fill out those questions based on their expertise with different kinds of job vacancies.

Workforce Management, June 22, 2009, p. 28 -- Subscribe Now!