BetterFit

BetterFit is a work in progress. It's constituent observations include...

  • matchmaking in business is less efficient than some online dating platforms where more is mutually shared: vast amounts of time are wasted on both sides of the application process, filling out / reading applications that are not a good fit for the opportunity in question and have not been optimally culled from the right pool.

Neither employers nor potential employees are happy with the tools that exist for matching talent to opportunities. This ties into my passion for muda and efficiency. Waste frustrates me. Through the evolution of my own career and search process, I noticed that I was applying (duh) to similar jobs, that appealed to my experience and values. The responsiblities and job descriptions overlapped a fair amount in groupings that called upon a given 5-7 years of my experience. Certain transferrable skills from groups of work and life experiences helped illustrate how I had specific qualifications that suited the needs of the hiring manager for a posted opportunity. On the other side of the desk, as it were, I have also squandered hours working through stacks of resumes and cover letters as a hiring manager only to discover that the interviewee was not a good fit, sixty seconds in. I get it. We can do better: BetterFit.

  • Unidirectional: This presumed unidirectionality bothers me in learning models. Especially with open courseware and Kahn Academy and almost all of my formal education classes, where one teacher is premued to have all the knowledge when the collective knowledge in the room sure ought to outweigh the knowledge on center stage. I have had the benefit of knowing and working alongside brilliant, beautiful people who make the world a better place. Why would I want to exclude them from collaborative learning opportunities? So too with the job application process --  applications are submitted most often into black holes. Second most common,the bland, corporate, legal-and-HR-approved cursory template email response: thanks, but no thanks. There are no feedback loops to inform candidates about how their application was not a good fit for the role, what other experiences they might have had but failed to include to make a more persuasive case for consideration, how they might learn and improve. BetterFit is partly born out of the confidence that more dialog between employer and employee is better than less.
  • misguided: in an effort to not disclose their willingness to pay, employers most often do not post the compensation details for a given position. This dynamic typically continues through the process; the application and interview take place before compensation is discussed. I love how Liz Ryan talks about this broken dynamic. Leveraging the traditional power dynamic between employer and applicant, companies often drive to force the applicant to disclose their reservation price. While this can be an effective negotiation tactic, as an approach to a conversation and potential long term relationship, it reflects an unhealthy dynamic and zero-sum mentality. This is one reason the majority of applications in Justin's dynamic application playground have salary or salary ranges listed; it's a screening criteria for me to consider a job. 

BetterFit aims to solve these and other issues identified in the current state to make the matchmaking of opportunities and talent better, to help both parties find better fits to improve the dynamic for everyone involved and make the world a better place.

BetterFit is related to Schlep 2 Work: Proximity-based job searching made... smarter. Schlep to Work was born out of the shared experience of wasting hundreds of hours commuting: 3.4 million person years per year in the US, alone. We can do better. 

As Schlep 2 Work was born of shared experience, BetterFit is a concept forged in the shared travail of job seeking and hiring. None of it seems to work optimally. The process causes frustration, consumes vast amounts of time, much of it wasted (see muda) fails to capture the full picture for either party, and as a consequence delivers suboptimal and sometimes downright poor outcomes.

We can do better. I met my partner on OK Cupid. We BOTH answered hundreds of questions EACH with varying levels of attributed importance and detail. Contrast this with the typical outside hiring process where a candidate applies based on a description of a job, the content of an about us page and sometimes colleagues or weak ties LinkedIn who work at the company of interest. How we can trust corporations aside, it is difficult to have much insight about the team before meeting them in person and typically this happens during 1-5 rounds of interviews. Oh the time we spend... 

I've told a lot of people about Schlep 2 Work: where the BefferFit rubber meets the would-be and literal road; travelling hours and hours back-and-forth every day made me realize the dramatic inefficiency of our distribution at our various jobs. In major cities, it is a statistical certainty that two people are one-another's commute doppleganger's, if you will -- each one leaving a home close to the other's place of work where they do exectly the same job on the same team. 

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