Startwire is a great new website that is changing the way job searching takes place. Using Facebook Connect or LinkedIn’s API, Startwire helps you close the circle as you do your job search. It helps businesses see how the prospective candidate is connected to its company contacts as well. I had a chance to do a Q and A interview with Christ Forman, founder and CEO of Startwire.com, a StartDate Labs Company.
[Editor’s note: Also check out Jibe which has integration with social media for job seekers and employers]
Sana: “What is your mission? What is your ah-ha moment?”
Chris Forman: “Our mission and ah-ha moment are the same.
If you look at any piece of research conducted in the last decade regarding online job search, the #1 complaint of people looking for work is the ‘application black hole’…they apply and never hear back.
The mission of StartWire is to close this ‘application black hole’ by providing job seekers with free, automatic updates on job applications. This service is available for over 2,100 companies, and you can manually track your status at other jobs within the tool.”
Sana: “What is your business model?”
Chris Forman: “Services to job seekers are free. We are advertising supported.”
Sana: “How will your product help small businesses?”
Chris Forman: “First, if a company has to downsize an employee, it’s a great value-added site they can easily offer as ‘outplacement’ assistance. Second, if they have very specialized hiring needs, advertising on StartWire may make sense.”
Sana: “What’s in it for everyone? In other words, how do you enhance mutual success for your company and your audience?”
Chris Forman: “We enhance success for job seekers, our partners, and ourselves by solving the intractable problem of job search – a lack of response from job applications. Our approach is one that hasn’t been available to job seekers before so it is an elegant solution for our partners as well as our clients.
If you’ve applied for a job but haven’t heard back from a company, it’s harder to move on. Even though most of our status updates deliver ‘bad’ news (meaning that the job seeker has not been selected or has been disqualified), the knowledge that we share with job seekers provides closure. This simple functionality has been openly received by both job seekers and our industry.”
Sana: “How does StartWire work?”
Chris Forman: “StartWire works similarly to TripIt.com…but instead of managing your travel plans, StartWire streamlines your job search. You share where you’ve applied, connect your application account to StartWire, and sit back. Every day we check the job and your application and share any updates with you via e-mail or SMS. Is the job still active? Has your application been looked at? Have you been moved to the next stage or have you been disqualified? We also give you a red, yellow, green indicator of your chances of getting a call based on when you applied, how long the job has been listed, and industry benchmarks. The ‘stop light’ is a user favorite.”
Sana: “Does your platform integrate with anything else?”
Chris Forman: “Yes, StartWire users can create accounts using Facebook or LinkedIn. Given that the number one source of hires for jobs is referrals, we also give suggestions of who you know at a particular company when you like a job. You can reach out for help to your network inside StartWire, and when you receive a response it remains private.
Once you’ve applied for a position, you can also see employee reviews and potential interview questions through our integration with GlassDoor.”
To learn more about how StartWire works, click here.