This morning we had an interesting conversation with John Sumser, one of the grand old men in the recruiting industry, and a pretty insightful thinker/writer on subjects relevant to both employers and jobseekers.
We started telling John about our company, our ideas & business model, and some of what we hoped to accomplish in the coming year. But a funny thing happened as discussion continued -- we realized we were getting as many good ideas from him as we thought we were telling to him. Several concepts he presented made a lot of sense to us (& going forward we'll act like they were all our ideas in the first place ;)
In particular, three articles John has written this month seem right on target:
Here's why we think these ideas are so fundamental, and why we're building them into our company DNA:
First and foremost, we believe our website should emphasize usability. Whatever we do, we want to make sure your experience is clean, simple, and straightforward. There are lots of new features we want to introduce soon, but we'll always aim for usability over bells & whistles (well, perhaps a few whistles -- it's fun to whistle). But as much as we like cool technology, we believe there are way too many cluttered websites out there. In short we think it's better to do a few things well, and not try to be all things to all people.
Second, we think authenticity is important. We want to speak to people in a real voice, in a way that seems natural -- like you talk to a family member, or how you write email to a friend. We don't want want to be a billboard or a sales brochure, or even a newspaper. We hope most of the time we're helpful, but that's about as far as we'll go. We are fans of the Cluetrain and we believe honesty breeds trust, even if it means admitting when we screw up (which we're so sure of we already created an 'oops' category for our blog). But we know building trust will take time. We don't expect you to feel that way on the first visit, or even the third. But we hope you'll keep coming back, and each time maybe you'll stay just a bit longer.
Lastly we want to make sure you get useful information, and (if at all possible) in a way that makes for an enjoyable experience. That may sound a bit unrealistic, and let's face it -- finding a job can sometimes be a pain in the butt. But if we can add a simple graphic, highlight a typo, or just deliver a slightly-quirky error message that makes you smile, we've done our job. Over time, we think the little stuff makes a big difference. Meanwhile our content and engineering teams will keep working hard to collect, index, and present the best job search results sardines & crackers can buy.
By the end of our talk with John, we hope we made an impression on him. But in any case, we're pretty sure he made an impression on us. For more of John's thoughts on jobs, websites, and hiring check out his website or signup for ER News. Go ahead, you might learn something.