When it comes to job searching, any already employed individual will tell you that the key to success is networking. Though, the problem with that overly simplified answer is that a lot of job seekers might not have vast professional networks to tap for help.
Whether you’re a newly graduated college student or a former stay-at-home parent looking to get back into the game, networking is no easy feat. So it raises the question: where should you start?
Cue Sudy Bharadwaj, Dr. Michael Lamoureux, and Todd White: the three men behind Jackalope Jobs. Their platform, however, is not what you might expect, for they are neither a job board nor a social networking site.
Rather, Jackalope Jobs was created to help job seekers actually incorporate networking into their job search. By connecting the millions of pieces of information spread out amongst other job boards and social networking sites, they aim to make the job search intuitive, easy, and more successful.
“The idea came out of a deep-seated anger with all the layoffs we saw happening,” says Bharadwaj. “When you look at the current unemployment numbers, it is very clear that job seekers’ career interests are not being served.”
Jackalope users are presented with job openings at companies while simultaneously presented with friends and acquaintances who work there. The idea is that your friends from social networks can help you get “in” with the job you are applying for: the networking is fully integrated.
“Today’s job search is very different,” says Bharadwaj. “Applying to only one job online will not help job seekers – you have to know somebody.”
The team believes there is a strict paradigm alive and well in the job seeking world, and it states that for every one job opening, employers are typically looking at five candidates. Jackalope Jobs, on the other hand, is working to shift that paradigm and give every one job seeker five great job opportunities.
To separate their services from the rest of the mainstream job boards available to the public, Jackalope Jobs has, aside from integrating networking, developed high-end semantic search functions. Additionally, their engine is based on user experiences of other major consumer sites like dating and shopping sites and fantasy football.
“All of these types of sites have mass-consumer appeal,” explains Bharadwaj. “They take very complex back-end processing and present information to the consumer in a meaningful, insightful and simple way.”
Currently, around 21 percent of users give credit to Jackalope Jobs for their employment and 51 percent of sponsored job seekers report successful job searches that ended in employment. Clearly, the networking integration has provided an edge to the company.
And while they have only just begun bringing in a revenue stream, the team is wasting no time preparing for the future. In an effort to define their target demographic beyond simply “job seekers,” the focus moving forward will be to optimize the success of college students and veterans.
Jackalope Jobs was featured at Tech Cocktail’s Dallas Mixer & Startup Showcase on August 29th.