Universal Job Application System Introduced By Jobfox

Mar 31, 2009
This article is part of a series called News & Trends.

Talk to Steven Toole about ResumePal for even just a few minutes and you get the feeling this is how sliced bread came about. ResumePal is a simple, elegant, and free solution to an annoying jobseeker and recruiter problem.

It’s an easy-to-use method to apply for jobs through corporate websites without having to reenter the data for each different employer. Jobseekers create a profile once, then by logging in to ResumePal from any participating employer’s site, they just click to apply. When they change their profile, by updating their contact information for instance, ResumePal automatically updates the database of every participating employer to which they’ve applied.

“It’s very similar to PayPal,” says Toole, vice president, employer marketing at Jobfox, which developed the service. “It’s convenient for jobseekers, but there are significant benefits for employers too.”

Keeping candidate information current is but one of those benefits. Another is that the profile is configured to fit the employer’s database specs. A third is the reduction in application abandonment. Who hasn’t begun applying for a job only to quit part way through because the process was too long or complicated for the job being offered?

“Candidate abandonment on corporate sites and job boards will go down, because they already have a profile that gets submitted by clicking the link,” Toole explains.

Simplifying the process to encourage more candidates might not seem a benefit to all recruiters, but another feature, one born of Jobfox’ DNA, reduces the impact of getting minimally qualified applicants. Candidates using ResumePal are matched to all jobs in a company’s ATS, and the quality of the match is ranked. So even as a candidate applies for one position, a recruiter at the receiving end can quickly see where else that person might fit. And yes, the candidate also is told of these other opportunities.

The other nice part of this is that employers using certain brands of ATS technology need do nothing more than opt in to the free program. The heavy lifting has already been done by the vendors who have signed on to offer ResumePal: ADP, Kenexa, Oracle and Oracle’s PeopleSoft, SilkRoad Technology, and Softscape. Plenty of big names there, accounting for several thousand employer installations and jobseeker applications that reach into the seven figures.

“There will be other announcements,” Toole emphatically declared when we asked about some of the other vendors. If ResumePal works as advertised, the momentum for it will build, just as it did for PayPal, he adds.

Jobfox has certainly taken pains to help speed ResumePal’s acceptance. By offering it through ATS vendors, there’s no cost to employers. They simply choose to use it or not. Even when they do, candidates have the option of applying in whatever fashion the company previously used or by submitting a ResumePal profile. No ResumePal? No problem. The jobseeker registers for ResumePal right on the employer’s site.

Jobseekers already registered on Jobfox are automatically enrolled in ResumePal. However, the opposite is not true; ResumePal participants must opt-in to Jobfox. They might as well, however, since they’ll get a list of other jobs matching their interests and background and reach a broader group of employers.

While we think jobseekers will embrace a universal job submission system, and recruiters will appreciate the automatic candidate updates and matching features, even sliced bread has its tradeoffs. In the case of ResumePal, jobseekers have to complete a Jobfox-styled questionnaire to create a profile. Standard resumes alone don’t work. Plus, ResumePal isn’t open to job boards where a majority of the searching is still conducted.

The other, and far bigger challenge, is how ResumePal benefits Jobfox. Toole tells us that once recruiters begin to experience the job matching, they’ll be open to becoming Jobfox clients. We suggested that sounds a lot like a loss leader, and Toole agreed, up to a point.

“Once they (recruiters) see how this works we think they’ll understand the value of Jobfox and become clients,” he says.

Should this catch on (a major consumer publicity push is to happen later this year, says Toole) there is the potential to monetize ResumePal by charging jobseekers. For that to work, the big job boards would have to become partners, as would the remaining big ATS vendors. From a jobseeker standpoint, updating one resume or profile and then having it instantly updated everywhere would be a convenience and a billable value.

This article is part of a series called News & Trends.