StartWire Supports the Candidate Experience

October 8th, 2012 No comments

The StartWire team is off to Chicago on October 8-10 to attend the 15th Annual HR Technology Conference & Expo and support the 2012 Candidate Experience Awards as a sponsor. 

The Candidate Experience Awards encourage businesses to improve the candidate experience.   Searching for a job is a stressful situation and the Talent Board, a non-profit research organization who is behind the CandE Awards, recognizes this.  Their mission is to help employers and candidates have a more effective and humane experience during the recruiting process.  For this goal, StartWire is proud to be a sponsor of the CandE Awards.

The HR Technology Conference explores how technology is bringing about change in HR practices and some new ways of implementing technology to improve HR practices.  Attendees from 27 nations, senior HR executives, the top six most powerful software executives in our world, and HR technology consultants make this one of the most anticipated HR conferences of the year!  More about the HR Tech Expo from their main page.

StartWire’s team is excited to be attending the conference, and proud to be supporting an improved candidate experience. Let’s all keep working to make the job search and hiring process better!

 

Job Search After 50: 5 Ways to Not Let Age Get In Your Way

July 24th, 2012 No comments

Are you over 50? Do you worry that your age will keep you from getting your next job offer? Feeling like you’re stuck in an endless cycle of job applications?Photo by jaliyaj on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

Take heart: A recent research study released by Chicago-based outplacement firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas shows that older workers have actually held the advantage in landing new jobs created out of the recession. How much of an edge? Of the 4.3 million jobs created in the past three years, nearly 3 million have gone to people over the age of 55! At present, there’s a lower unemployment rate for older workers.

The unemployment rate among those 44 and older is approximately 6.5% according to recent Department of Labor reports. Comparatively, the unemployment rate among 20 to 24 year olds is 12.9% and those between the ages of 24 and 34 suffer a 8.2% unemployment rate.

But don’t be fooled by the numbers: Finding a job if you’re over 50 can be tough, especially if you have extensive experience that commands a comparatively high salary — or are applying for jobs where you’d be significantly younger than your supervisor. Here are five strategies that may work for you:

1. Anticipate employer objections — and counteract them! There are stereotypes associated with employees at all age levels: some say recent college grads are too concerned about work-life balance to focus on extended projects requiring extra hours, 40-somethings are cynical and drink too much coffee, and Baby Boomers don’t keep up with technology, have outdated skills, and aren’t physically able to do the job. But you are not a stereotype — and you can counteract these myths.

How to show that you are tech savvy:
Put a QR code that links to your resume or LinkedIn profile on your personal business card. Complete your LinkedIn profile in the first person — and share your interests, not just what you’ve done in the past. This will invite other people to connect with you.

How to show that you are physically fit:
Participate in sporting events such as local 5K events — even if they are short walks. Your time results will likely be posted online and show up in a Google search. That you didn’t win doesn’t matter, nor does your time. Showing up demonstrates you are active and take care of your health — and that’s important to employers, as healthcare and sick time out of the office is expensive for any business.

2. Know your rights — and what employers can and can’t ask. The Age Discrimination Act of 1967 and Older Workers Benefit Protection Act of 1990 protect the rights of workers over 40 and apply to any employer or government agency that has over 20 employees.Here’s a handy list of facts about age discrimination that provides an overview of guidelines employers must follow.

3. Put your photo online — even if employers can’t ask you for it. While employers can’t ask for photos on resumes — and some companies have policies on whether or not employers can Google applicants — a proactive way to handle the issue of age is to put a picture of you online that looks professional and youthful. It’s okay to hire a professional photographer or edit your photo to make yourself look as healthy and vigorous as possible.

4. Avoid interview traps that make you look defensive. I recently spoke with a job seeker who interviewed with a manager that complained “many of her co-workers were gray hairs over 50 who were resistant to change.”

The job seeker replied that he would actually be their junior. He didn’t get the job offer and learned later that the manager said she “didn’t like his attitude.”

An alternative strategy for similar situations: Counteract the stereotype. If told about others who are resistant to change — give examples of times you have worked well with co-workers of all ages, then share stories about how you’ve lead change or mastered new technology.

There’s no reason to share your age in an interview conversation ever. (Here’s a quick overview of illegal interview questions employers can’t ask. Check the DOL fact sheet for information about how and when employers can ask questions about birth dates.)

5. Take advantage of special resources and programs available to help and use your talents. There’s a movement that recognizes the significant value older employees bring to organizations. Encore Careers provides advice on how to create a “second act” that combines  passion, purpose, and a paycheck: the site shares information about training opportunities and gives a limited number of $100,000 fellowships every year to recognize extraordinary efforts.You can also check out special career resources and programs available from the AARP.

We hope you’ll find these five strategies to be helpful. Do you have any other strategies that have worked well for you — or questions you’d like the answers to? Share.

How to Be Happy While in a Job Search: 4 Secrets of NYT Bestselling Author Gretchen Rubin

May 29th, 2012 No comments

According to Broadway’s Annie, you may never be “fully dressed without a smile,” though sometimes it’s hard to wear that smile when you’re in the middle of a job search. No matter how you spin it, job search is hard — especially since what you do is so often tied closely to the quality of life you are able to live.

Enter Gretchen Rubin, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller The Happiness Project, a book which chronicles both research — and her personal experiments on happiness. Last week I had the opportunity to hear her speak in New York. Today, I’m passing along four of her secrets that you can use in your own job search — without investing a dime.

The Happiness Project

 

1. Do something that makes you feel good about yourself.

Receiving compliments may be nice, but research shows that we tend to be happier when we’ve done something that makes us feel good about ourselves. Rubin’s suggestion: ” It’s better for you to do things that make you feel good and proud about yourself than it is for other people to tell you that you’re great.

2. Make your bed.

It may sound like a small thing, but Rubin says making your bed will help you accomplish two things: First, you will start the day by feeling like you’ve already accomplished something. Secondly, you’ll know you have a clean, welcoming place to sleep at the end of the day. You can skip the hospital corners if you want.  What’s most important is just getting it done!

3. No matter how long your to-do list is, do the “one minute” projects first.

Have a mug that needs to be washed? An e-mail from a friend that needs to be returned?  A dentist appointment to make? Start your work by taking care of the easy projects you can take of right away. It will help you feel like you’ve accomplished something — which will make you more inclined to keep going. Note: We’ve checked and it takes less than 60 seconds to track a job you’ve applied to inside StartWire.

4. Eliminate the clutter.

Does your favorite white shirt have a stain that won’t come out? Need to put out the recycling?  Have clothes in the wrong size? Clear the decks, says Rubin. If you don’t need it, having additional space can be enormously liberating.

Worried you won’t be able to afford the right clothes for your next interview?If you’re unemployed and need assistance, check out Dress for Success (for Women) or Career Gear (for men).If you’re worried about having two good suits for first and second round interviews, try borrowing a secret from frequent fliers who roam the halls of Congress. Keep one great suit in black or navy and use different accessories for different days.

Want to make sure you don’t lose track of your job search records? Don’t forget to use StartWire‘s free tools to track your job applications — and generate work search records required by many state unemployment offices (if applicable).

Get moving. Make your bed. Do the easy things first. Clear the clutter. These are simple steps you can take to move forward with greater happiness — regardless of whether or not that hiring manager calls you when she said she would!

These are our starting tips for feeling happy while in a job search; what additional strategies do you use?

StartWire™ Launches First-Ever Online Unemployment Work Search Organizer to Help Job Seekers Report for Benefits

May 10th, 2012 No comments

Lebanon, NH (May 9, 2012)StartWire™, a game-changing Internet job search organizer, today launched a first-of-its-kind application for unemployed job seekers – the StartWire Unemployment Work Search Organizer. With all 50 states requiring unemployed benefit claimants to track their work search on a weekly basis, the StartWire Unemployment Work Search Organizer automates the often-manual task of job tracking to receive benefits.

“For nearly all unemployed job seekers, the task of finding a job is stressful enough and then you layer on the unpleasant chore of job tracking for state unemployment benefits,” says Chris Forman, CEO of StartWire. “With this new application, StartWire continues to be a resource for job seekers throughout their job search lifecycle by making finding a job easier and more expedient.”

Via a one-click process within the StartWire site, job seekers can customize their job search records based on a date-range selection option and download the form as an excel spreadsheet to submit to the appropriate state’s unemployment agency. The report fields include status of application, potential employer information such as organization name and contact details as well as job type. The fields were compiled based on StartWire research of required unemployment benefit filings for all 50 states.

A recent StartWire survey of 25,000 unemployed benefit recipients indicated that one out of four job seekers surveyed had their work search records audited by state unemployment agencies. And of those that failed to provide records or showed incomplete records, nearly 75 percent had to re-pay benefits or were denied benefits for a period of time. Also, job seekers reported difficulties in keeping track of all the job search sites they had visited, and remembering application dates once they were audited – often long after applying. For further detail on the survey, see The Challenges & Benefits of Work Search Reporting Infographic.

“The failure of filing or incomplete record keeping can have devastating repercussions,” said Hari Ranganathan, StartWire Product Manager. “This new tool is a no-brainer and lets job seekers focus on the task at hand – finding a job.”

Seeking to radically improve the job search process, StartWire closes the “résumé black hole” by providing job seekers with automatic application status updates from thousands of employers. With a network of 6,000+ employers and growing, StartWire improves application visibility and hiring knowledge for job seekers.

About StartWire™

StartWire™, a game-changing Internet job search organizer that launched in early 2011. StartWire closes the “résumé black hole” by providing job seekers with automatic application status updates from thousands of employers. Over the past 12 months, StartWire has received rave reviews and write-ups in US News & World Report, About.com, AOL Jobs, CNN, ERE, and HR Executive Magazine.

Unemployment: Tips for Filling Out Work Search Records

May 1st, 2012 No comments

If you have never received unemployment benefits, you may not be aware that all 50 states require most claimants to maintain a weekly record of their work search to remain eligible for unemployment benefits. The specifics vary slightly by state, but you generally need to record where and when you have applied and the results of your application. This can be a great way to stay organized and remain motivated in your work search, but it can also present significant challenges.

We talk to job seekers all the time, and one of the biggest complaints during the job search from StartWire users who are unemployed is a concern about completing the work search records required by state unemployment offices.

Everyone wants to find work, but even after applying to numerous positions it can still be difficult to adequately complete a work search record. On the surface, work search reporting might seem like a simple requirement and for many it is, but for some it can become a daunting challenge. Why? In order to verify the work search records, many states require contact information for employers that includes a phone number. In some states, such as Montana, the name and contact information of the hiring manager is required.

When looking at online job postings, this information can be hard to come by. Job seekers are often unsure who will be viewing their application, and don’t know what contact information to put down. Today, we’d like to provide you with a few of our favorite strategies for finding this information. We hope it will make your life easier, and allow you to spend more time finding a job and less time worrying about your work search record.

Where to find contact information for those listings (even if the name and phone number isn’t listed in the job description):
  • Google. (We recommend searching company name, city, and “human resources” or HR – you should find a name in the search results)
  • Superpages (www.superpages.com), this site is an online phone directory. Try searching the White Pages by company name. You will at least get the main phone line for the company.
  • The company voice mail directory. (If you don’t want to talk, call at night and access the departmental directory – once you get transferred to a voicemail, you’ll also frequently get a name.)
  • LinkedIn.com (Use the Company pages feature to see employees at a company. Connect your StartWire account to LinkedIn and any related connections to your account will be recommended to you automatically.)

Just a quick reminder – StartWire is not certified to provide legal counsel on these matters, and cannot guarantee that these strategies will provide you with adequate information for your work search record. If you have questions related to your unemployment benefit eligibility status, or creating a work search record that meets your state’s requirements, we urge you to contact your state unemployment office. These are simply suggestions based on our experience to aid you in finding information in your work search.

Use these resources and take heart – we’ve got another new tool coming your way very soon — it should help ease the pain of keeping and submitting these records!

Unemployment: The Challenges No One Talks About

April 30th, 2012 No comments

At StartWire, we like to address the pesky problems in job search and unemployment that many sweep under the rug. Here are two of the big problems we’ve already tackled.

  • What happened to my job application after I applied?

StartWire provides a way to get updated on the status of your job search at over 7,000 companies.

  • Why am I seeing job listings that are six months old?

We’ve streamlined our job listings to only show you jobs that have been posted within the last two weeks.

For the next few weeks, we’re going to pull the rug up, and talk about areas of job search that are rarely discussed—the process of living and searching for work while on unemployment.  We’ll be talking about how to deal with unemployment and the unemployment benefits process, with the goal of addressing challenges and issues not often addressed.

StartWire Survey Reveals Companies Risk Reputation by Not Responding to Job Applicants

January 11th, 2012 No comments

A new job seeker survey from StartWire™, a game-changing Internet job search organizer, has found that leaving job candidates in the dark about their application could potentially damage a company’s reputation. 

The survey, with more than 2000 respondents, found that 77 percent of job seekers think less of a company that doesn’t respond to a job application. Going further, 72 percent of respondents said they would be less likely to recommend companies’ products or services, and 58 percent would think twice about buying a product from a company that did not respond to their job application.

“It is easy to understand job seekers’ frustration when they submit résumés but never get a response,” says Chris Forman, CEO of StartWire. “But what most companies don’t realize is that not providing feedback can really hurt their image. Those potential hires may also be customers, and how a company manages job applicants can really travel fast through word-of-mouth.”

Seeking to radically improve the job search process, StartWire – celebrating its one-year launch anniversary this month – closes the “résumé black hole” by providing job seekers with automatic application status updates from thousands of employers.

The survey also indicates the severe level of frustration that comes with searching for jobs. Of those looking for their next position, 90 percent said getting feedback on their applications would make the overall process of applying for jobs less frustrating. While more than 90 percent of job seekers follow-up with potential employers on their status, only 33% of Fortune 500 companies provide feedback through their application systems

Companies that are notorious for application black holes lose out on potential star employees, as a staggering 96 percent of job seekers are more likely to apply for a job if they know they will receive regular updates on their application status.

“StartWire provides automatic feedback from over 5,600 employers. It eases the stress of the job hunt for the applicant and makes companies look good. Everyone wins,” says Forman. 

StartWire is One

January 10th, 2012 No comments

I can’t really believe it….but this morning 12 months ago… we launched our 1st, totally buggy version of StartWire.  We had a total of 200 people join the 1st day…and I believe 90% of them were friends and family.   

Twelve months later we are the #1 job search organizer on the web and one of the fastest growing career destinations on the web.  

What a year. 

Tim and I would like to thank everyone on the StartWire team as well as our incredibly supportive investors. ’Breaking trail’ is never easy and launching StartWire was no different.  The only reason we are here today is because of your hard work and support. Thanks, guys.

We’d also like to ‘tip our hat’ to our swelling ranks of users.  Your passion for what we are endeavoring to do is motivating and your ‘candid’ feedback has been invaluable.  Please keep it coming.  

With that, we’re back to work.

Happy 2012!

Tim  & Chris

Categories: What's New(s) at StartWire Tags:

Is anyone on the other end of your job app?

January 10th, 2012 No comments

Ever applied for a job and never even gotten a response to confirm that your application wasreceived?


Chances are good the answer is yes. Dust off your Twisted Sister tapes and cds, “we’re not going to take it” is emerging as the new theme song for job seekers. In a recent survey of over 2,300 members of the StartWire community, 69% of respondents said they would probably not – or simply wouldn’t – buy a product or service from a company that didn’t respond to their job application. 77% said they’d think less of a company if the company doesn’t respond to their job application, and a whopping 96% responded that they are more likely to apply for a job if they know they will be getting regular feedback.

Couple that with the recent dip in unemployment rates, an increase in consumer use of social media to share opinions on corporate behavior, and a growing trend of individuals buying their own health insurance and starting their own businesses – and you’ve got a recipe for a perfect storm for a candidate revolt. Just as the Occupy Wall Street movement has a mission of fighting back “against the richest 1% of people that are writing the rules of an unfair global economy that is foreclosing on our future,” we see a wave of job seekers who’ve had enough. As Alison Green, a career columnist for U.S. News said last summer,

As the job market continues to favor employers, job seekers are increasingly reporting poor treatment—from employers who never show up for scheduled interviews to inappropriate demands for private information on online job applications.

Employers may feel they don’t have to pay much attention to the candidate experience in such a flooded market. But this is shortsighted, because the best candidates have options and will turn elsewhere. It’s also unkind to people who are in a vulnerable and anxiety-producing spot.

It’s time for a job seeker’s bill of rights, to improve the hiring process on both sides!

At StartWire, we’re raising our hands in support of job seekers and candidates in two ways today.

First, we’re celebrating our first birthday – and saluting the thousands of job seekers who’ve joined us and used our site to sign up for automatic status updates on the state of their job application. (A first step in finding out what’s actually happened to job applications after they’ve been submitted.)

Secondly, we’re looking across the village green from our headquarters in a small New England town to toast the New Hampshire primary – and to watch democracy in action. No matter how you move the lever in January or February, we think it’s always important to have your voice be heard.

We’re committed to helping you have a better candidate experience as a job seeker. In the weeks ahead, we’ll continue to share tips and strategies to make that happen – and to advocate for your rights. Let’s work together to make the process of applying for a job clear, transparent, and timely.

How can we help you make the process of looking for a job more fun?

Photo courtesy of Vector Portal.

New job recommendations engine and 1334 new companies added to the StartWire application update engine.

August 8th, 2011 Comments off

We’ve been burning the midnight oil the last couple of weeks to pump out a new and improved job recommendations engine and dramatically expand our network of companies in our application update engine.  We’re happy to announce that we just rolled these great updates.  We hope you like the results. 

Here are the details:

  • New & Improved Job Recommendations: Every time you track a new application with StartWire, our recommendations engine gets smarter. We analyze your applications,  look for key characteristics you like (and dislike) and use these to recommend better jobs.  You can edit and enhance these Likes and Dislikes on our new recommendations , tab with a few simple mouse clicks…so you can tune our engine to an even higher level.  Give it a try. The results are awesome…and as always…we’ll let you know about any Insider connections you have for any job we return!
  • 1334 New Companies Added to the StartWire Application Update Engine: Job seekers and companies alike are ‘into’ our our application update engine. Job seekers love the fact we are closing the ‘black hole’ and companies are ecstatic about the fact we are helping their applicants feel better about their recruiting process.  Today, we’re happy to announce we’ve added 1334 new companies in the last month…bringing the total network to 4,000+ supported companies.

And BTW, last week was the best week in StartWire’s short life. New users, tracked applications, and site usage is going through the roof. Thank you all for spreading the love about StartWire. 

StartWire is completely free for job seekers; you can sign up here.

About StartWire

StartWire™ closes the ‘application black hole’ by providing job seekers with free, automatic updates on their job applications from over 4,000 employers via e-mail and text. StartWire™ also provides a suite of tools that streamline the job search process from recommendations on where to apply and friends who can help, to status indicators of your chances of getting a call based on your application date, the age of the job, and industry benchmarks.

StartWire™ launched in early 2011 to rave reviews and write-ups in US News & World Report, About.com, AOL Jobs, CNN, ERE, HR Executive Magazine, & Career Xroads. StartWire™ is the 1st product commercialized by StartDate Labs™ – a recruiting and job search technology incubator. StartDate Labs is based in Lebanon, NH.

What’s New(s) at StartWire