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Meet the New KRAZOOM Job Search System

There are millions of job postings. But what are employers looking for?

 
Henning Seip Career Strategy Interview on TotalPicture RadioHenning Seip

According to Henning Seip, President and Co-founder of SkillPROOF and our guest in this Career Strategy Channel Podcast on TotalPicture Radio, the average job opening has 20 requirements. How do you know if you are you a good match?

The exercise is always the same: Find those where you match the requirements. Applying to any other would be a waste of your time - and the employers.

Enter KRAZOOM - a new, and easy to use job search and matching system for job seekers and employers. SkillPROOF Inc. developed KRAZOOM after discovering that the average online job posting has 20 skill and education requirements which job seekers have to match. Each requirement can have multiple words.

The widely used keyword search is a word guessing exercise with very poor matching capabilities. This leaves job seekers with a time consuming trial and error job search experience during which they read many job postings that are of no interest to them.

KRAZOOM aggregates job postings from around the Internet and indexes the requirements it finds in the text. Job seekers using KRAZOOM select from the job requirement index those they can match. KRAZOOM then sorts the job postings according to where job seekers match the most requirements. Job seekers can save their selections into a profile and use it when they search for jobs on KRAZOOM again.

 

Henning Seip KRAZOOM TotalPicture Radio Transcript

Hi, this is Peter Clayton. Welcome to a Career Strategy Channel Podcast on TotalPicture Radio. A Connecticut company called SkillPROOF just released a new, very innovative online search engine built specifically for jobseekers called KRAZOOM. That's KRAZOOM.com. Joining me to talk about the job search process and how to use job boards a lot more effectively is Henning Seip who is president and co-founder of SkillPROOF.

Henning, Welcome to TotalPicture Radio.

Henning: Good morning Peter. Thank you.

Peter: Henning, before we get into a discussion of KRAZOOM, tell us about SkillPROOF.

Henning: SkillPROOF is a company that I founded actually almost 11 years ago, and the reason I founded the company was to find ways to get information about what employers are looking for from jobseekers. When I first came to United States about 20 years ago, I worked for a company called Bantam Doubleday Dell as a hiring manager and at that time when I hire people, I read a lot of résumés, and it occurred to me that since I could not compare the résumés, it was very difficult for me to make a decision on whom to invite for an interview. It seems that this was a difficult process for basically anybody doing this. So later I came back to found KRAZOOM with the idea to improve the information about jobs and what jobseekers have to offer, and basically began a process that led me to the development of KRAZOOM.

Peter: Okay, so from what I understand, Henning, the research you've been conducting for SkillPROOF has really led to the development of this KRAZOOM product, is that correct?

Henning: That's correct. The employers on the internet, they communicate with the jobseekers a lot. So basically they do this by posting job openings on the internet, on job boards on their own corporate website and there are millions of these job postings out there and they are all text. The issue now is for a jobseeker to find those job postings that match actually their own backgrounds, so their skills and education, and they have to find this among these millions of job postings, and they want to find those that match their skills and education because reading any other job postings that are outside of their background would be just a waste of time.

Peter: Right, right.

Henning: I would love to be an astronaut, for example, but I would never fulfill the skill and education requirements for that job so why should I read the job posting for an astronaut unless I'm just curious about what the requirements are. So the issue really at hand for a jobseeker is to find those job postings where they actually have a chance to get an interview.

Peter: You told me, which I think is a really interesting statistic, that the average online job posting has 20 skill and education requirements. How did you come up with that number?

Henning: Basically what I started to do is I started to look at job postings on a large scale. I assembled and collected millions of job postings that I got from the internet with a computer and I started to look through this. I developed a process which basically goes into the text and finds the requirements and then basically builds statistic out of that. By going through millions of these job postings across industries, I was able to figure out that the average job posting has about 20 requirements that jobseekers have to match in order to have a chance for an interview and that basically led me to think about how are jobseekers going about the search today. The primary way they do this today is they use something called a keyword search. They go into job boards or ATS systems and then basically they search for jobs by using keywords.

Keyword search is basically this empty field where you can enter anything you like. There is no guide, there is no method for what you should enter. Basically it's a guessing game of words that people use to find job postings where they match the requirements.

Peter: Alright, so what you're telling me is that a keyword search is basically a guessing exercise with a very poor matching capability when it comes to doing job search, especially on job boards where you're looking for jobs that match the skills that you have.

Henning: That's correct. For example, I tried something yesterday entering just three words into a search field where the words were marketing, CPG (consumer packaged goods), and green. I'm trying to find job postings where a consumer packaged goods company wants to produce green products or look for people with that kind of experience. I conducted the search; what came back basically was I was able to match two words at best, which was marketing and CPG, and the third word green, that typically matched to something like green card but not green products. So the word green can be used in many, many different context and the search result came back with green cards primarily.

That basically shows the mismatch that occurs when you guess these words and that's a problem. That's a real problem. I just used three words. When you say, if I want to match the requirements in a job posting and there are 20 requirements in there and the requirements, let's say, is one word, I would have to guess 20 words, not 3, to match the requirements or find job postings actually that match my background.

Peter: Henning, let's unpack KRAZOOM. What does it do and how specifically does it work?

Henning: The way KRAZOOM works, it creates an index to the requirements in the text of the job posting. That basically eliminates the guessing of these requirements. Let me compare that to a business system that we all know. For example, the sales order system. If you have a business, you have a ales order system. Let's assume that sales order systems have two ways to look up customers, and you're trying to get a report on open orders from a range of customers. There are two ways to do this in our sales order system.

One way is you open a window and you get the list of all your customers and let's say you want the sales orders for all the customers that start with the letter M. So you select all your customers that start with the letter M from your list and voila, after pressing a button, you get the list of all the open orders for that customer group. So that's path number one.

Peter: Right.

Henning: Path number two, let's try the same thing with the keyword search. Let's assume there's a keyword search field and it would go through your sales orders. Let's say on your sales orders in the header, there's the customer name. Now, you may have let's say 60 or 80 customers that start with the letter M, and you may remember let's say the names of five of them. So you start entering five names but what about the other 75, what do you do there? Because the keyword search field doesn't give you any help. That's where the guessing start. So you go maybe through old orders or stuff like that to figure out what the names of your other customers are. It will take you a long time until you get all your open orders for the 80 customers that start with the letter M, and that's the exact difference between keyword search and KRAZOOM.

KRAZOOM takes the guessing away so that you have an index, you have a list from which you can pick those requirements that you can match and then the system pulls up all the job postings that basically where you match these requirements and sorts them on basically how well you match these requirements. That's the exact difference.

Peter: Let's take this one step further. Here's a quote from you, "People don't know what their marketable skills are. When you ask someone to take a blank piece of paper and write down their top 20 marketable skills, they typically draw a blank." I guess that really speaks to what you were just talking about is, what do you really put into that keyword search.

Henning: That's exactly right. That's exactly right. It's a straightforward exercise. It's a straightforward exercise. Take a blank piece of paper and take a pen, sit down and think about what are your top 20 marketable skills. If you start drawing a blank, then you feel there is something missing, there's information missing. If there would be a list, a list that somebody gives you with, let's say, 500 possibilities and you can go through that list and say I can do this and I can do that, and then you assemble those that basically belong to you, that makes it very easy. You need to have a list and it would help this index to create basically the top 20 marketable skills that you have and basically every human being has different sets of skills.

That's the difference from using keyword search.

Peter: From a user standpoint, when someone goes in to first use KRAZOOM, they really need to spend some time and think through what their real marketable skills are and select those out of this very long list that you provide people, is that...?

Henning: Actually, it's fairly straightforward, because what KRAZOOM does, it guides you into a section of the database where you will find most likely the jobs you're looking for. So you're not looking through the requirement list of thousands or even millions of job postings, you're looking through the requirement list of the jobs you're actually interested in and that list may be 300, 400 items long. You go down that list once. You assemble basically the requirements that you can match, the system keeps track of what you're selecting and you store that in a profile. So it's a one-time exercise. You will recognize the requirements that KRAZOOM produces for you simply because you have read them in job postings. You can actually audit the match by just clicking on the job posting that KRAZOOM shows you and then find the requirements in the text of the job postings and so it makes it actually very easy, very straightforward to go down that list of requirements and create your profile, then you save it and then the next time, basically you can automate that process. So you just pull up the profile, you click a button and KRAZOOM produces a list of job postings so you match at least half of the requirements because that's what I said is a threshold where it makes sense for an employer to start looking at the job applications.

Peter: I'm assuming you're aggregating job postings similar to the way that Indeed or Simply Hired are doing, is that correct?

Henning: Yes, that's correct. That's correct. So basically you're going out to the internet, pulling the job postings in and then analyze it for the requirements and then post the database with the job postings and the index of the requirements.

Peter: Is your database nationwide?

Henning: It's a nationwide database. Currently, I'm running about 200,000 job postings and hopefully, I can increase that if I get some help.

Peter: KRAZOOM jobseekers discover how they match jobs. However, you told me this includes - and you were just talking about this - that they find which requirements that they don't match which is called a gap analysis. Can you explain this to us a little bit?

Henning: Yes. The jobseekers go down the list of the requirements that they can match and KRAZOOM shows the job postings or the job listing similar like other job boards do that. Other job boards underneath the job title typical show a snippet of the job text and then they bold the words that were matched with the keyword search. Now in KRAZOOM, instead of the text snippets of the job posting, what we have there is the list of requirements that the system found in the text of the job posting and every time the jobseeker selects a requirement, the requirement then gets highlighted in the job listing. When the jobseeker is done with the list of requirements, then they can see right on the job listing, even before reading the job posting, they can see which requirements they match and which ones they don't match.

Now, that's the knowledge about what you don't match is important information because it gives you some feedback about what the employer is telling you through the job posting where the requirements that are not matched are your gaps. So if the requirement is that you can do JAVA programming but you don't have JAVA programming skills, it tells you there's a gap even though you matched let's say 60% or 70% of the remaining requirements or the other requirements on that job posting. Knowing your gaps helps you to, let's say, get some training if you're interested in that, or to work your résumé around that and your cover letter around that because you have to respond to these requirements to employers. That's what they are looking for because employers want to be heard. They want to be heard that you understand the requirements. By having the ability, having that information given to you automatically through the KRAZOOM system, it helps you to write your résumé and your cover letter much more specific to other than if you don't do that.

Because if you do this manually, which is happening today - you find a job posting on a job board, you read the job posting, you have to manually go in with a highlighter and highlight your requirements and match it to yourself and then basically put these into your résumé. It's very time consuming and for that reason, often is skipped, but it's the really important piece that jobseekers need to go through in order to just be more successful also with interviews.

Peter: Absolutely because as we all know, I mean any job posting on any job board today, if you're responding to it, it's going to through an applicant tracking system and that ATS is looking for those specific keywords that are in that job ad.

Henning: Absolutely. You see that's why on KRAZOOM, under every job listing, there's a link that says keywords for your résumé. What it does basically when the jobseeker clicks on that link, it shows the list of matching requirements. So a jobseeker can just cut and paste that into their résumé and cover letter and this way basically increase their chances that actually that employers are going to pick it up on the other side.

Peter: Is there a cost to using KRAZOOM?

Henning: The basic system is free but there is a function, if you want to really automate your job search where you apply your stored profile every day, it's just with a click of a button that KRAZOOM charges for that feature between $6 and $10 per month. The idea behind KRAZOOM is to improve the process meaning to save people time.

Peter: Right.

Henning: Save people time, meaning the jobseekers and save people time meaning the employers, so both sides, saving them time just by providing information that is more relevant to them and to reduce the search, the guessing through these keywords.

Peter: From what I understand Henning, you're hiring at SkillPROOF for marketing person, is that correct?

Henning: Yes, I'm looking for a marketing partner in the Northeast. The next step for me is basically to expand and to put this on to a larger footing. Also perhaps to raise money for the system and the idea, the technology behind it because I believe it has a wide application.

Peter: How long has KRAZOOM been in development?

Henning: I developed KRAZOOM over the past 3 years. I have tested this and prototyped this with about 1000 jobseekers here in Connecticut. It has been an ongoing process simply because when you take the keyword search away and replace that with an index, job search changes and it changes actually quite dramatically. The system has evolved through jobseekers who gave me feedback on what they liked and what they didn't like and where it was useful for them. So since 3 weeks, basically the latest version that is out there now, this is very streamlined system.

Peter: Back to this job opening you have, if we have some savvy marketing people in the Northeast that are interested in connecting with you, what's the best way of doing so?

Henning: Either connect to me by email or call me here in Connecticut at 203-275-8155.

The email address is henning.seip AT skillproof.com.

Peter: Is there anything I haven't asked you that you would like to share with the audience regarding KRAZOOM?

Henning: What I'd love to get is just more feedback from jobseekers. The more jobseekers try it out and work with it and give me feedback, the more we can actually improve it and streamline it further. So that would be great if that would happen.

Peter: Henning, thank you so much for taking time to speak with us today on TotalPicture Radio.

Henning: Thank you very much, Peter, for having me.

We've been speaking with Henning Seip, president and co-founder of SkillPROOF and KRAZOOM. You'll find this interview in the Career Strategy Channel on TotalPicture Radio. That's TotalPicture.com along with a complete transcript of our conversation. We'd really appreciate your leaving comments and suggestions on Henning's feature page. Sign up for our free newsletter on the homepage at TotalPicture.com, follow me on Twitter @peterclayton, join our Facebook group TotalPicture Radio to stay up to date on all of our interviews and you'll find me on LinkedIn as well. I'm always happy to connect with our listeners. Just mention you're a TotalPicture Radio listener in the invitation to connect.

Thanks for listening.

Henning Seip is President and Co-founder of SkillPROOF Inc. Mr. Seip developed SkillPROOF Inc. responding to a need for better tools and information about local, national and global job markets and skills needed by employers. SkillPROOF has launched KRAZOOM.com, an advanced job matching system based on Standard Job Requirements. SkillPROOF's publications supplement labor information provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Together with Pace University, SkillPROOF publishes the PSII IT job market index for the New York City region since 2006. Mr. Seip is a consultant to the State of Connecticut advising the state's planning agencies on labor demand questions. He holds a BS inIndustrial Engineering from the University of Hamburg, Germany.

 

Peter Clayton

About Peter Clayton

Peter Clayton, Producer/Host, is an award-winning producer/director of radio, television, documentary, video, interactive and Web-based media who has created breakthrough media for a wide array of Fortune 100 clients.

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